Respect for woman’s decision‑making in spontaneous birth: A thematic synthesis study

Firoozeh MirzaeeRabor, Fattaneh Mirzaee, Khadigeh MirzaiiNajmabadi, Ali Taghipour



Background: Participation of woman in decision-making processes is one of the key indicators of an appropriate relationship between a woman and the health care professionals. This study aimed to recognize the factors facilitating respect for woman’s decision-making in spontaneous birth.

Materials and Methods: This paper employed a meta-synthesis on articles published in four biomedical databases including MEDLINE, Web of Science, CINAHL, and Cochrane Library. All qualitative studies published after 1990 and directly or indirectly discussing the women’s and the health care professional’s attitudes toward respect for woman’s decision-making in spontaneous birth were searched. Of 5372 citations, 95 full‑text papers were considered, of which 14 satisfied the inclusion criteria.

Results: In this meta‑synthesis, initial codes were obtained through meticulous, line‑by‑line coding of the findings of the primary studies. Then, thematic synthesis was performed on the codes to search for concepts, and 20 descriptive themes were obtained in the second stage. Finally, through an inductive process, five new interpretations were obtained in the last stage of the thematic synthesis. These interpretations included confidence to health care providers, the central role of midwives in maintenance of women’s dignity, childbirth as a natural phenomenon, the impact of contextual conditions, and the political and human factors affecting the delivery management and women seek place of safety for childbirth.

Conclusions: Studies suggested that midwifes have a central role in maintenance of women’s dignity and their experience of childbirth.



Childbirth; dignity; Iran; qualitative study; thematic synthesis

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