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Ensuring women receive respectful maternity care requires health facilities to have access to reliable data on women’s experience of care to allow them to continuously improve their service. Traditionally such data are collected from face-to-face surveys. This study explores the use of telephone interviews to generate data on the experience of care.

This IDEAS-led study, published in BMJ Global Health, analysed the validity of data generated through telephone interviews, when compared to data generated through exit surveys 14 months before when women were interviewed leaving a health facility after giving birth to a live baby.

The study investigated eight indicators of positive maternity care experience and 18 indicators of negative maternity care experience. The study found that the telephone interviews yield similar sample characteristics as exit interviews, thus presenting an interesting alternative to the more resource and time-intensive traditional face-to-face surveys. When comparing the results however varied estimates were observed. Study authors conclude that alternative hypotheses should be considered including that women’s reported experience may legitimately change over time and women’s confidence to report their experiences may differ by place of interview.


Profile picture of Dr Nasir Umar
Dr Nasir Umar

IDEAS Nigeria Country Coordinator and Assistant Professor

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Professor Joanna Schellenberg

IDEAS Co-Principal Investigator and Professor

Moise Muzigaba

Department of Maternal, Newborn, Child and Adolescent Health and Ageing, World Health Organization, Geneve, Switzerland

Özge Tunçalp

Sexual and Reproductive Health and Research, World Health Organizations, Geneva, Switzerland

Nuraddeen Umar Sambo

Data Research and Mapping Consult Limited, Abuja, FCT, Nigeria

Abdulrahman Shuaibu

Office of he Executive Secretary, Gombe State Primary Health Care Development Agency, Gombe, Nigeria

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Professor Tanya Marchant

IDEAS Principal Investigator and Professor