The aim of this study was to examine the extent to which socio-demographic variables affect women’s satisfaction regarding antenatal and perinatal care.
To take into account the role of the context in shaping women’s satisfaction, we used multilevel models, with women at the lower level, and the health districts of residence, or the hospitals in which the delivery took place, at the higher level.
The study is based on a representative survey focused on the satisfaction and experience of 4598 new mothers who gave birth in one of the 25 hospitals in Tuscany (Italy) in 2012.
Women’s overall satisfaction in the prenatal period and their overall satisfaction during hospitalization for delivery.
Regarding pregnancy, women’s satisfaction increased with age, and was generally higher among foreign women coming from non-Western countries and among highly educated women. Regarding delivery, age proved insignificant, whereas citizenship and education maintained the same association with satisfaction. Contrary to our expectations, the number of previous pregnancies turned out to be insignificant.
Our findings suggest that the quality of maternity services was perceived differently in different socio-demographic groups: women’s expectations affected satisfaction, but in different ways, in various socio-demographic groups, both during pregnancy and at delivery. Keeping these socio-demographic factors into account in the analysis of satisfaction may help organisations to identify areas where pregnancy and delivery services can be better targeted and where increasing awareness among professionals in their everyday practice is most needed.