Referral in Pregnancy : A challenge for Greenlandic women

University essay from Nordiska ministerrådet/Nordic School of Public Health NHV


Referral practices within healthcare systems are seen as a means of heightening the quality of perinatal care and lessening perinatal mortality and morbidity. Perinatal death or the birth of child with a handicap can be debilitating for a family. Since January 2002 a new referral system has been instituted within Greenland sending all at risk pregnancy to the referral hospital in Nuuk. The aim of the study was to describe the women’s experience of referral by drawing on their experiences and using their voices to present referral from the women’s point of view. Interviews were conducted within arrival at the referral hospital and during fieldwork over a one-year period. Interviews were conducted, recorded and transcribed. The analysis of interview data was conducted within the narrative framework, using Coping theory and resiliency tools as the theoretical base for structuring the narratives. Through their narratives the women presented their identities as mothers, community members and caretakers. Acceptance of referral was described as a tool for protecting their unborn child. With acceptance of the referral the women found an inner source of strength to deal with their own anger joy anxiety and loneliness. Their ability to accept referral was directly connected to their family and community and the support that they found therein

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