Antenatal care: a case of the inverse care law?

Stephanie Brown, Judith Lumley

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

55 Citations (Scopus)


Abstract: As part of a review of maternity services this study assessed satisfaction with antenatal care among 1193 women who gave birth in Victoria during two weeks of 1989, except for those who had a stillbirth or whose infant died between the birth and the survey. The survey questionnaire was mailed to women eight to nine months after the birth. The response rate, excluding duplicates, women who gave birth outside the survey period and those whose questionnaires were returned because of a change of address was 71.5 per cent. Women attending public hospital clinics were the least satisfied with antenatal care and those attending private obstetricians were the most satisfied, with general practitioners intermediate. These differences by provider accounted for almost all the differences by sociodemographic factors (age, marital status, family income, being of non‐English‐speaking background and health insurance status). While the majority of women were happy with their antenatal care, an inverse care law still applied: women whose economic and social circumstances meant they were most likely to need ‘care’ from caregivers were more likely to be limited in their choice of caregiver and to be dissatisfied with the care they received. 1993 Public Health Association of Australia

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)95-103
Number of pages9
JournalAustralian Journal of Public Health
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 1993
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health

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