Original Research

Women’s perspective of facility-based childbirth services in Ghana: A qualitative study

Gertrude S. Avortri, Lebitsi M. Modiba
African Journal of Primary Health Care & Family Medicine | Vol 10, No 1 | a1434 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/phcfm.v10i1.1434 | © 2018 Gertrude S. Avortri, Lebitsi M. Modiba | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 07 February 2017 | Published: 09 July 2018

About the author(s)

Gertrude S. Avortri, Institutional Care Division, Ghana Health Service, Ghana
Lebitsi M. Modiba, Department of Health Studies, University of South Africa, South Africa


Background: Many policy makers at country level in both medium and low to middle-income countries still have great difficulty deciding which quality intervention would have the greatest impact on the health outcomes delivered by their health systems.


Aim: To investigate women’s perceptions about the factors that hinders or facilitates the provision of quality childbirth services in Ghana’s health care services to guide improvement efforts.


Setting: The study was conducted in the greater Accra region of Ghana in two primary level hospitals (district hospitals).


Methods: A qualitative study design, which is exploratory, descriptive and contextual in nature, was used. Semi-structured interviews were used to examine the perspectives of 15 women on the factors that influence the quality of childbirth services and how services could be improved in Ghana. Data were analysed through data reduction, data display and generation of themes.


Results: The findings in this study revealed two major themes, firstly, barriers to quality childbirth with five subthemes: high workload, shortage of health workers, non-availability of some services, as well as poor coordination, unacceptable staff behaviour and lack of cooperation from some clients, were identified by the participants as the major causes of poor quality. Secondly, ways to improve care reported, were encouraging health workers to be patient with clients, promoting open communication, friendliness and attentiveness. The need to reorganise service provision to make it more client centred, was also highlighted.


Conclusion: The study findings highlight the importance of paying attention to factors such as service organisation and coordination, high workload, inadequate number of staff, as well as limitations in infrastructure and logistics for quality services delivery. Equally important are institutionalisation of systems to continuously assess and improve staff competence and attitudes and the creation of an environment that can foster good interpersonal relationship between health care providers and patients.


childbirth; factors; perceptive;quality of care; women


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