Open Access Repository

The fallacy of normalcy : a multiphase study exploring women’s help-seeking for health problems in the 12 months after childbirth

Rouhi, M ORCID: 0000-0003-3722-5433 2020 , 'The fallacy of normalcy : a multiphase study exploring women’s help-seeking for health problems in the 12 months after childbirth', PhD thesis, University of Tasmania.

Full text not available from this repository.

Abstract

Post-childbirth morbidities have burdened many women around the world, and women
often do not seek treatment for them. Studies suggest that they are inhibited in expressing
their needs, and so seek informal rather than professional help for their health problems,
though admittedly there is limited evidence about women’s help-seeking behaviour.
Therefore, this study aimed to explore the key influences on women’s help-seeking behaviour
in the 12 months post-childbirth. Three different study phases were adopted to answer three
questions: (i) what evidence exists in the peer-review literature about women’s perceptions
of the barriers and facilitators they experience in seeking help from health professionals
within the first the 12 months post-childbirth? (ii) What health problems do women feel
require help during the 12-month period after childbirth and what is their help‐seeking
behaviour? (iii) What do women who participate in post-childbirth online support forum
discuss about their health issues?
This study was underpinned by a feminist pragmatist paradigm and used a multiphase
mixed methods design. Feminist pragmatism considers multiple views and values experience,
which provided a useful lens through which to study women’s health problems by hearing
women’s voices. In the first study phase, a systematic qualitative meta-aggregation was
applied to literature about women’s perceptions of the barriers and facilitators they
experience in seeking help from health professionals. The Behavioural Model of Health
Service Use (BMHSU) was used as a lens to view the qualitative research evidence. In phase
two, concept mapping, an integrative participatory mixed method, was used to study
women’s perspectives on help-seeking behaviour for postpartum health problems.
Bradshaw`s Taxonomy of Needs was used to explain the results of women’s felt need after
childbirth. Concept mapping involved an online group of participants creating 83 brainstorm
statements about post‐childbirth health problems and help‐seeking, and a second group of
15 women sorting and rating the statements based on their perception of the prevalence of
the issues and the help‐seeking advice they would offer others. For phase three, the content
of messages posted by women to an Australian online forum was imported into NVivo 12 Pro
for qualitative data analysis. The data were evaluated using directed qualitative content and
thematic analysis.
The findings showed that women often did not seek professional help because they
accepted problems as a normal part of the motherhood role. Women were more likely to
share their problems with family and friends as people they trusted. Online platforms have
allowed women to share their problems anonymously, but the support provided
demonstrated some normalising of abnormal problems. Feminist pragmatism explains why
the normalisation of health problems after childbirth dominates help-seeking behaviour for
women after childbirth. The views of women, family and friends, and health care providers
more closely adhere to ‘the fallacy of normalcy’ than recognition of health problems. Family
and friends were successful when they encouraged women to seek professional help, but
when women do seek professional help the availability and source of help is important. Some
health care providers contribute to ‘the fallacy of normalcy’ for health problems, again
decreasing the number of women who can readily access quality care.
This thesis highlights a need to reconsider (qualitatively and quantitatively) the approach
to care after childbirth for women’s trusted people and healthcare providers by
acknowledging ‘the fallacy of normalcy’ if women are to receive timely and appropriate
postnatal care.

Item Type: Thesis - PhD
Authors/Creators:Rouhi, M
Keywords: Maternal Morbidity, Post-childbirth, Feminist Pragmatism, Mixed method
Copyright Information:

Copyright 2020 the author

Item Statistics: View statistics for this item

Actions (login required)

Item Control Page Item Control Page
TOP