The client experience is an important outcome in the evaluation and development of perinatal healthcare. But because clients meet different professionals, measuring such experiences poses a challenge. This is especially the case in the Netherlands, where pregnant women are often transferred between professionals due to the nation’s approach to risk selection. This paper explores questions around how clients experience transfers of care during pregnancy, childbirth, and the neonatal period, as well as how these experiences compare to the established quality of care aspects the Dutch Patient Federation developed. Narratives from 17 Dutch women who had given birth about their experiences with transfers were collected in the Netherlands. The narratives, for which informed consent was obtained, were collected on paper and online. Storyline analysis was used to identify story types. Story types portray patterns that indicate how clients experience transfers between healthcare providers. A comparative analysis was performed to identify differences and similarities between existing quality criteria and those clients mentioned. Four story types were identified: 1) Disconnected transfers of care lead to uncertainties; 2) Seamless transfers of care due to proper collaboration lead to positive experiences; 3) Transfers of care lead to disruption of patient-provider connectedness; 4) Transfer of care is initiated by the client to make pregnancy and childbirth dreams come true. Most of the quality aspects derived from these story types were identified as being similar or complementary to the Dutch Patient Federation list. A ‘new’ aspect identified in the clients’ stories was the influencing role of prior experiences with transfers of care on current expectations, fears, and wishes. Transfers of care affect clients greatly and influence their experiences. Good communication, seamless transfers, and maintaining autonomy contribute to more positive experiences. The stories also show that previous experiences influence client’s expectations for the next pregnancy, childbirth, and transfers of care.
van Stenus, C. M. V., Gotink, M., Boere-Boonekamp, M. M., Sools, A., & Need, A. (2017). Through the client’s eyes: using narratives to explore experiences of care transfers during pregnancy, childbirth, and the neonatal period. BMC Pregnancy and Childbirth, 17, . https://doi.org/10.1186/s12884-017-1369-6