Background: Previous studies demonstrate that people's satisfaction with healthcare influences their further use of that healthcare system. Satisfied patients are more likely to take part in the decision making process and to complete treatment. One of the important determinants of satisfaction is the fulfillment of expectations. This study aims to analyse both expectations and satisfaction with antenatal care among pregnant women, with a particular focus on vulnerable groups.
Methods: A quantitative descriptive study was conducted in 155 women seeking antenatal care at the University Hospital of Ghent (Belgium), of whom 139 completed the questionnaire. The statistical program SPSS-21 was used for data analysis.
Results: Women had high expectations relating to continuity of care and women-centered care, while expectations regarding availability of other services and complete care were low. We observed significantly lower expectations among women without higher education, with low income, younger than 26 years and women who reported intimate partner violence. General satisfaction with antenatal care was high. Women were satisfied with their relationship with the healthcare worker, however ; they evaluated the information received during the consultation and the organizational aspects of antenatal care as less satisfactory.
Conclusions: In order to improve satisfaction with antenatal care, organizational aspects of antenatal care (e.g. reducing waiting times and increasing accessibility) need to be improved. In addition, women would appreciate a better provision of information during consultation. More research is needed for an in-depth understanding of the determinants of satisfaction and the relationship with low socio economic status (SES).