Saskatchewan

Canadian researcher wants to know your experience with health-care system during childbirth

A Regina researcher is exploring women's interactions with the medical system during childbirth and how it affects their health postpartum.

Survey needs experiences from 240 pregnant Canadian women in third trimester

Andreea Tamaian, a PhD student at the University of Regina, is researching how women view their interactions with the medical system during childbirth and postpartum. (University of Regina Photography Department)

Not all visits to the doctor's office or hospital leave patients satisfied with their care so a Regina researcher is looking into how patients view their experiences with the health-care system.

Andreea Tamaian, a PhD student in clinical psychology at the University of Regina, is examining institutional betrayal.

"It's an action or inaction that a system takes that can cause harm to patients, so in the medical system, for example, not being provided with full and informed consent before a procedure could be seen as betrayal," said Tamaian.

She started researching the issue four years ago. She discovered that the response by health professionals or the system itself surrounding a medical event can cause harm to patients.

While surveying people with chronic health conditions, she found that institutional betrayal predicted poorer mental health, such as anxiety, depression and post-traumatic stress disorder, even after controlling factors.

"People are really talking about it on two different levels," said Tamaien.

"So there's the doctor level, so a specific doctor doing something or not doing something, and a lot of it has to do with the emotional support that patients are talking about or procedures they are doing without considering alternatives, but also patients are talking about systemic issues that are happening across the board." 

Looking for participants

Now, Tamaien is focusing on one particular medical event — childbirth.

She will be able to survey women before labour and after to study how they view their interactions with the medical system and how it affects their health three months postpartum.

"We know there isn't a lot of consistent data in terms of [women's] experiences with the medical system and how it affects them long-term and we're really hoping that understanding these experiences can instruct policy changes to better support women during childbirth and afterwards as well," said Tamaien.

She looking for 240 pregnant women in their third trimester and who live in Canada to take part in an online survey.

They will be surveyed at three different time points. If interested, email tamaiana@uregina.ca

About the Author

Samanda Brace

Associate Producer

Samanda Brace has been an associate producer with CBC Saskatchewan for four years. Get in touch with Samanda by emailing samanda.brace@cbc.ca