The impact of exclusion due to COVID-19 restrictions on partners' satisfaction with Swedish hospital postnatal ward care: A multi-methods approach.

Olander P, Berglin L, Naurin E, Markstedt E, Zheng LR, Linden K, Sengpiel V, Elden H

Birth - (-) - [2024-01-30; online 2024-01-30]

To prevent the spread of SARS-CoV-2, hospitals around the world adopted protocols that, in varying ways, resulted in the exclusion of partners from hospital postnatal care wards. The objective of this study was to examine the effect this exclusion had on partners' satisfaction with postnatal care. An online survey (the Swedish Pregnancy Panel) including free-text comments was conducted before and during the first wave of the COVID-19 pandemic; partners of pregnant women were recruited at an early ultrasound appointment and followed until 2 months after childbirth. Data were linked to the Swedish Pregnancy Register. The survey was completed by 524 partners of women who gave birth during the pandemic and 203 partners of women who gave birth before. Partners' satisfaction with hospital postnatal care dropped 29.8 percent (-0.94 OLS, 95% CI = -1.17 to -0.72). The drop was largest for partners of first-time mothers (-1.40 OLS, 95% CI = -1.69 to -1.11), but unrelated to clinical outcomes such as mode of birth and most social backgrounds, except higher income. The qualitative analysis showed that partners (1) felt excluded as partners and parents, (2) thought the strain on staff led to deficiencies in the care provided, and (3) perceived the decision about partner restrictions as illogical. The exclusion of partners from the hospital postnatal wards clearly impaired satisfaction with care, and partners of first-time mothers were particularly affected. Planning for future restrictions on partners from hospital wards should factor in these consequences.

Category: Social Science & Humanities

Funder: KAW/SciLifeLab

Funder: VR

PubMed 38288558

DOI 10.1111/birt.12816

Crossref 10.1111/birt.12816

Publications 9.5.0