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Deconstructing 'barriers' to access: Minority ethnic women and medicalised maternal health services in Vietnam

White, Joanna; Oosterhoff, Pauline; Huong, Nguyen Thi

Authors

Jo White Jo.White@uwe.ac.uk
Marie Curie - Senior Research Fellow PPI

Pauline Oosterhoff

Nguyen Thi Huong



Abstract

Low maternal health service utilisation amongst minority ethnic women in Vietnam is often attributed to 'traditional customs'. Drawing on secondary data and original, qualitative research amongst Hmong and Thai communities, this paper analyses minority behaviour related to childbirth. The informed selectivity in service attendance identified can be considered, in part, a rejection of current medicalised approaches at health facilities, where supine delivery is compulsory and family members are prohibited from attending women in labour. The paper reveals how conventional analyses of barriers to minority maternal health service utilisation inhibit scrutiny of the ways services fail to engage with or accommodate local preferences. Participatory identification of mutually acceptable delivery methods by maternal health staff and local women is recommended to enable the development of culturally inclusive services. © 2012 Copyright Taylor and Francis Group, LLC.

Journal Article Type Article
Publication Date Sep 1, 2012
Journal Global Public Health
Print ISSN 1744-1692
Electronic ISSN 1744-1706
Publisher Taylor & Francis (Routledge)
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 7
Issue 8
Pages 869-881
APA6 Citation White, J., Oosterhoff, P., & Huong, N. T. (2012). Deconstructing 'barriers' to access: Minority ethnic women and medicalised maternal health services in Vietnam. Global Public Health, 7(8), 869-881. https://doi.org/10.1080/17441692.2012.679743
DOI https://doi.org/10.1080/17441692.2012.679743
Keywords minority ethnic groups, childbirth, Vietnam, culture, medicalisation
Publisher URL http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/17441692.2012.679743
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