9th Conference European Sociological Association

RN20 Qualitative Methods

2009-09-03 09:00:00 2009-09-03 10:30:00 Thursday, 3 September 09:00 - 10:30 Mixed Methods Building II, C2.01

Relationship between fertility and poverty, the influence of representations of pregnancy in the use of maternal health services by women of fertile age: a mixed methods design

It?s currently recognized the importance of knowing and understanding the social representations of the population and studies about attitudes and practices are increasingly used, but not specifically related to the motivations for the use of maternal health care among women of fertile age, living in urban areas and in different social contexts - of poverty and not poverty.
The main objectives of this study were: to verify if the representations of pregnancy influences the use of reproductive health care; and compare the access to health care, explaining the patterns of utilization of reproductive health care among poor and non-poor women.
We used a mixed-methods design: a case-control study that was conducted in the Lisbon council, with a random sample of 1513 women of fertile age, through a questionnaire; and sub sequentially a phenomenological study, conducting focus groups and semi-structured interviews with a smaller sample of those women. The justification of that approach is related to the complexity of the issues under study, namely, the inter relationship between fertility and poverty and the importance of the social representations of pregnancy /maternity in the patterns of use of health care. It would be very restrictive utilize only one methodological approach on a study with all the dimensions included, therefore the option was to use a multi methods research design aiming to reach the variety of social and societal factors involved on the demand and utilization of health care services.