Examining health care interactions for their influence on effective and equitable perinatal health care services for women and families

Research has shown that quality of health care services influences the health and well-being of women and their families during pregnancy, birth and the first two to three months after birth. Studies also show that access to effective health services is important in helping women follow healthy practices. Less is known about the ways in which relationships between women and their health care providers influence the effectiveness and fair distribution of health services. Helen Brown is investigating this question, with a focus on understanding how these relationships affect healthy practices among women from marginalized or less powerful groups. Helen hopes the research will help improve health care relationships, enhance quality of care, strengthen health promotion and education for childbearing women, and help policy-makers create more effective and equitable services.