Impact of COVID-19 on perinatal care: Perceptions of family physicians in the United States.

Journal Article (Journal Article)

BACKGROUND: Patient-centered care is the best practice in the care of pregnant and postpartum patients. The COVID-19 pandemic prompted changes in perinatal care policies, which were often reactive, resulting in unintended consequences, many of which made the delivery of patient-centered care more difficult. This study aimed to understand the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on perinatal health care delivery from the perspective of family physicians in the United States. METHODS: From October 5 to November 4, 2020, we surveyed mid- to late-career family physicians who provide perinatal care. We conducted descriptive analyses to measure the impact of COVID-19 on prenatal care, labor and delivery, postpartum care, patient experience, and patient volume. An immersion-crystallization approach was used to analyze qualitative data provided as open-text comments. RESULTS: Of the 1518 survey respondents, 1062 (69.8%) stated that they currently attend births; 595 of those elaborated about the impact of COVID-19 on perinatal care in free-text comments. Eight themes emerged related to the impact of COVID-19 on perinatal care: visitation, patient decisions, testing, personal protective equipment, care continuity, changes in care delivery, reassignment, and volume. The greatest perceived impact of COVID-19 was on patient experience. CONCLUSIONS: Family physicians who provided perinatal care during the COVID-19 pandemic noted a considerable impact on patient experience, which particularly affected the ability to deliver patient-centered and family-centered care. Continued research is needed to understand the long-term impact of policies affecting the delivery of patient-centered perinatal care and to inform more evidence-based, proactive policies to be implemented in future pandemic or disaster situations.

Full Text

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • Goldstein, JT; Eden, AR; Taylor, MK; Dotson, A; Barreto, T

Published Date

  • December 2022

Published In

Volume / Issue

  • 49 / 4

Start / End Page

  • 719 - 727

PubMed ID

  • 35396870

Pubmed Central ID

  • PMC9111605

Electronic International Standard Serial Number (EISSN)

  • 1523-536X

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.1111/birt.12637


  • eng

Conference Location

  • United States