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A qualitative research study of primary care physicians' views of telehealth in delivering postnatal care to women


A qualitative research study of primary care physicians' views of telehealth in delivering postnatal care to women

BMC Prim Care. 2022 Aug 13;23(1):206. doi: 10.1186/s12875-022-01813-9.


BACKGROUND: The postpartum period is a critical time for women to optimise their physical and mental health. Primary care physicians (PCP) often manage postpartum women in the community setting after uneventful births. However, women encounter difficulties accessing care before and after their conventional 6-week physical review. Telehealth-based interventional studies have demonstrated their successful applications in several areas of postpartum care but is not widely adopted. The study aimed to explore the PCPs' views on their acceptability and perceived barriers of telehealth in delivering postpartum care to women in primary care.

METHODS: Twenty-nine PCPs participated in eleven in-depth interviews and four focus group discussions for this qualitative study conducted in Singapore. The purposively sampled PCPs had varied demographic background and medical training. Two investigators independently coded the audited transcripts. Thematic content analysis was performed using the codes to identify issues in the pertaining to the perceived usefulness, ease of use and attitudes towards telehealth in postpartum care as described in the "Telehealth Acceptance Model" framework.

RESULTS: Most PCPs perceived usefulness and ease of use of video consultation in delivering postpartum care. They recognised telehealth service to complement and support the current face-to-face postpartum care amidst the pandemic. However, training, leadership support, organizational infrastructure, healthcare financial policy and personal demographic profile influence their acceptance of a new care model for postnatal mothers.

CONCLUSION: Addressing the barriers and strengthening the facilitators will enhance PCPs' acceptance and utilisation of the proposed hybrid (telehealth and in-person) postnatal care model for mothers.

PMID:35964001 | DOI:10.1186/s12875-022-01813-9

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