Relationships matter in rural maternity: lived-experiences of rural families and health care providers in rural New Zealand

Part of Special Series: Innovative Solutions in Remote Healthcare – ‘Rethinking Remote’ Conference Abstracts 2016go to url


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S Crowther


* Helena Clements


1 RGU University, Aberdeen, UK


30 June 2016 Volume 16 Issue 2


RECEIVED: 25 June 2016

ACCEPTED: 29 June 2016


Crowther S.  Relationships matter in rural maternity: lived-experiences of rural families and health care providers in rural New Zealand. Rural and Remote Health 2016; 16: 4128. https://doi.org/10.22605/RRH4128


© James Cook University 2016

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Little is known about remote rural maternity experiences. The practice realities of rural maternity care providers are often unheard. Using a hermeneutic phenomenology methodological approach the lived experiences of remote maternity in the New Zealand context were examined. Participants included rural living mothers, midwives, general practitioners and ambulance crew. Five pairs of qualities surfaced in analysis. These themes or qualities were found to be in constant tension and always dynamic. These five pairs of tensions will be presented in poster format. Each theme will be supported by stories from the analysed data:
  Spirit of place-tyranny of distances,
  Relationships matter-living with discord,
  Spirit of generosity-feeling Invisible,
  Self-reliance-relying on others,
  Being known-fearing censure.
The tensions highlight that there are both joys and vulnerabilities in remote maternity experience. Remote rural maternity is not the same in all regions and not all services fitted local needs well. A transdisciplinary approach is suggested to ensure all stakeholders concerned with remote rural maternity services are engaged in complementary support of each other. Although findings are not generalizable they are transferable to other contexts globally. The importance of working and practising in a transdisciplinary way promotes safety for remote communities, nurtures joy of practice and contributes to retention, recruitment and sustainability. Recommendations for practitioners, maternity health policy-makers and education are given.

This abstract was presented at the Innovative Solutions in Remote Healthcare - 'Rethinking Remote' conference, 23-24 May 2016, Inverness, Scotland.

This PDF has been produced for your convenience. Always refer to the live site https://www.rrh.org.au/journal/article/4128 for the Version of Record.