Quality of care is often a difficult thing to measure, especially in low resource settings. The data are generally good to show us if women have four antenatal care visits or give birth in a facility. However, this does not tell us anything about the information provided at antenatal care visits or the competence of staff at a facility. Nor, does it tell us anything about how mothers feel about the care they received. Not only is the quality of care provided important, but also the perception of that care, as evidenced by patient satisfaction, matters.
A new paper published in BMC Pregnancy and Childbirth investigates the satisfaction of mothers who give birth at a referral hospital in the Amhara Region of Ethiopia:
The overall proportion of mothers who were satisfied with delivery care in this study was 61.9 %. This percentage is very low compared to other studies in developing countries – 92.5% in Côte d’Ivoire  but it is comparable to a study in Nairobi, Kenya-56% and greater than a study in Sri Lanka 48%. This variation may be because of a real difference in quality of services provided, expectation of mothers or the type of health facilities…The overall satisfaction of hospital delivery services in this study is found to be suboptimal. The study strongly suggests that more could be done to assure that services provided are more patient centered.