Author(s): Izabela MÄÅ¼yk (ABDEF), Anna KoÅczewicz-CioÄ (ABCDEF), Violetta Skrzypulec-Plinta (D), MaÅgorzata Kazimierczak (D)
Introduction. Medical literature offers only few reports on disability in obstetrics. Caring for women with disabilities requires individual supervision depending upon the type and grade of disability. There are still no standards of care for disabled women in obstetrics. The aim of this paper was to analyze midwives’ experiences in care for disabled patients during pregnancy, childbirth and postpartum period. Material and methods. A survey was conducted among 205 actively working midwives. The statistical analysis was performed using the chi-squared test of independence and Pearson’s contingency coefficient. The level of statistical significance was p=0.05. Results. Most of the surveyed midwives (67.3%) were 22–30 years old. In the opinion of 45.9% of the midwives, their workplace is not adjusted to providing services to disabled women during pregnancy, childbirth and postpartum period. The lack of established standards of obstetric care for women with disabilities is reported by 71.7% of the surveyed midwives. The percentage of midwives experiencing anxiety associated with caring for a disabled woman declines with age (p=0.022). The length of professional experience and age of the respondents were not found to be significantly correlated with the level of preparation for providing services to disabled women (p=0.789). Conclusions. In the opinion of the surveyed midwives, there are no standards of obstetric care for disabled women. Irrespective of the length of professional experience, midwives report greater psychological burden associated with caring for disabled women compared with patients without disabilities. Trainings and courses are needed to prepare midwives for work with disabled patients.