Objective: To synthesise qualitative and quantitative evidence on the mistreatment of women during childbirth in health facilities.
Perspective: Experiences and attitudes of stakeholders in any country about the mistreatment of women during childbirth
Summary of review finding
Studies contributing to the review finding
CERQual assessment of confidence in the evidence
Explanation of CERQual assessment
1. Use of force: Women across the world reported experiencing physical force by health providers during childbirth. In some cases, women reported specific acts of violence committed against them during childbirth, but women often referred to these experiences in a general sense and alluded to beatings, aggression, physical abuse, a rough touch and use of extreme force. Pinching, hitting and slapping, either with an open hand or an instrument were the most commonly reported specific acts of physical violence.
6, 9, 10, 13, 21, 61, 67, 68, 73, 75, 77, 80, 84, 86, 87, 91, 96, 97
15 studies with moderate methodological limitations. Data from 10 countries across all geographical regions, but predominantly sub-Saharan Africa. No or very minor concerns about coherence and adequacy.
2. Physical restraint: Women reported physical restraint during childbirth through the use of bed restraints and mouth gags.
Very low confidence
Two studies (Tanzania and Brazil) with moderate methodological limitations. Limited, thin data from 2 countries. Minor concerns about coherence but limited data available.