Original Research

Development spots in communication during the management of the intrapartum period: An interpretive multiple case study in a developing context

Doreen K.M. M'Rithaa, Susan R. Fawcus, Margaretha de la Harpe, Mikko Korpela
African Journal of Primary Health Care & Family Medicine | Vol 9, No 1 | a1239 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/phcfm.v9i1.1239 | © 2017 Doreen K.M. M'Rithaa, Susan R. Fawcus, Margaretha de la Harpe, Mikko Korpela | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 28 June 2016 | Published: 31 July 2017

About the author(s)

Doreen K.M. M'Rithaa, Department of Nursing and Midwifery, Stellenbosch University, South Africa
Susan R. Fawcus, Mowbray Maternity Hospital, University of Cape Town, South Africa
Margaretha de la Harpe, Department of Information Technology, Cape Peninsula University of Technology, South Africa
Mikko Korpela, Private, Finland


Background: Health care activities are influenced by information communication between women during pregnancy, birth and motherhood and skilled birth attendants (SBAs) and further, between the health care workers during the continuum of care. Therefore, effective information communication processes (ICP) within and between health care facilities are a requirement for appropriate management of patients or clients. The management of the intrapartum period requires swift responses while managing critical information required for further referral and management processes. The involvement of multiple actors at different times with the same client carries the risk of communication breakdown at different points and at different levels of care. The information communicated during the intrapartum period is critical and should be accurate, timely and more importantly appropriate to enable better maternal and neonatal outcomes.
Purpose: The purpose of this article is to discuss the complexities around ICP identified within a developing context that influence the management of the intrapartum period.
Methods: Multi-method, multiple case study approach was used to analyse two case studies. Only the challenges from one case study (A) are discussed in this article. In-depth interviews were conducted with the SBAs. The role of observer-as-participant was utilised during the observation; field notes and document review methods were used to gather the data. Thematic analysis and activity analysis were applied to analyse the data.
Results: The findings identified challenges with information and communication that influenced the management of the intrapartum period.
Conclusion: This study exhibited the challenges identified as development points that can influence the management of the intrapartum period. These challenges were also identified as desirable changes from the present state depending on the perspective of the actor.


Information; communication; skilled birth attendant; interviews; case study


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