Prevalence of Suffering from Disrespectful and Abusive Care in Pregnant Women Reporting to Public Sector Facilities
Background/ Objectives: Disrespectful and abusive treatment in pregnancy is highly prevalent in developing countries and causes psychological distress/birth complications. Study objective was to categorize disrespect & abuse of pregnant women in the public healthcare, to observe if any instance of disrespect and abuse has negatively impacted them and to check whether their choice of public healthcare would change for the next childbirth. Methodology: A cross-sectional study was carried out at Lady Aitchison Hospital in Lahore (Pakistan) using purposive sampling. Data was obtained from 126 pregnant/post-partum females and analysis done via SPSS-23. Data collection tool was a standardized questionnaire (Bowser & Hill analysis) classifying the Disrespect & Abuse into 7 types. The research was completed in 7 months. Results: The frequency of females reporting disrespect & abuse in at least one category was 52.4%. Out of these, 16.6% suffered more than one kind of abusive care. Non-consented care was most frequently observed (68.2%). Mostly, women of 23-32 years age (76.2%) were the victims. Females with a secondary or higher education were more likely to report disrespectful treatment (71%). About 6.3% females subjectively reported to be negatively impacted by disrespect and abuse. Despite the high frequency of abusive treatment, 98.4% females expressed their future preference for maternal healthcare to be public sector. Conclusion: Females reported at least one episode of disrespect and abuse, which was more common in educated women aged 23-32. Non-consented care is most often experienced. However, this did not negatively impact the pregnant women and a majority would still opt for public sector maternity care.