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Research Mentor Name

Dr. Diane Levine

Research Mentor Email Address


Institution / Department

Wayne State University School of Medicine

Document Type

Research Abstract

Research Type


Level of Research



Introduction: Disrespectful care during childbirth contributes to poor health outcomes, perpetuates disparities, and encourages childbirth outside of healthcare facilities. To measure disrespectful care, investigators use many research approaches. Most research has focused on low/low-middle income countries. This scoping review aims to 1) summarize current research and research approaches to analyze whether these approaches identify the same types of mistreatment and 2) identify gaps in current research analyzing disrespectful care during childbirth.

Methods: Following PRISMA guidelines, this review utilized search terms to filter articles from the Pubmed database. Using specific criteria, articles were then excluded by title and abstract, then full article review. Included articles were organized by research approach and analyzed for study location and the presence of 9 types of mistreatment.

Results: 102 included articles were organized by research approach, including direct labor observation, survey, interview, and focus groups, yielding 144 total studies to account for articles with more than one research approach. Each research approach identified all 9 types of mistreatment, with neglect/abandonment, verbal mistreatment, and physical mistreatment reported the most. Low-income countries represented 134/144 studies, with most research centered in East Africa and India. High-income countries represented only 7% of research.

Discussion: This review is the first to organize current respectful maternity care research by research approach and study location. Analysis of study location shows gaps in research, particularly among high-income countries. Further research, particularly in high-income countries, is necessary to better this global health concern.


Maternal and Child Health | Medicine and Health Sciences | Obstetrics and Gynecology | Women's Health