Women's help-seeking behaviours within the first twelve months after childbirth: A systematic qualitative meta-aggregation review✰.


School of Nursing, College of Health and Medicine, University of Tasmania, Advocate House, 9 Liverpool St, Hobart TAS 7001, Australia. Electronic address: [Email]


BACKGROUND : Women within the first 12 months after birth often do not seek professional help for post-childbirth morbidities. This systematic review uses the Behavioural Model of Health Services Use (BMSHU) to assess the barriers and facilitators to women's help-seeking from health professionals during the first twelve months after childbirth.
METHODS : A qualitative meta-aggregation was used for the review. Systematic searching of Medline via Ovid, CINAHL, EMBASE and Web of Science revealed an initial 691 papers, of which 48 were reviewed. Nine qualitative papers, peer-reviewed, English papers and published from 2000 to 2017, were identified. Studies selected according to the pre-defined protocol were assessed using The Joanna Briggs Institute Critical Appraisal Tools (JBIQARI).
RESULTS : Seventy-five findings were identified from the approved articles and aggregated into seven categories. Key themes that emerged were that women did not seek help because they accepted problems as a part of the motherhood role or because they feared being judged negatively. Women shared their issues with family and friends as trusted people. Low health literacy was a barrier to seeking help, as was lack of access to proper care and poor advice from families. The women's cultural context was an essential influence in whether or not they sought help. According to BMSHU, a model of key influences on women's help-seeking for maternal morbidities introduced.


Anderson model,Cultural barriers,Maternal morbidity,Postpartum,Unmet need,