Journal Article

Women’s experiences throughout the birthing process in health facilities in Arab countries: a systematic review

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Background: Mistreatment of women during facility-based childbirth has become a signifcant public health issue
globally and is gaining worldwide attention. This systematic review of quantitative studies aimed to estimate the
prevalence of mistreatment women may experience throughout the birthing process in health facilities in Arab coun‑
tries. The review also aimed to identify the types of mistreatment, terminology, tools, and methods used to address
this topic.
Methodology: The search was conducted using three electronic databases: “PubMed,” “Embase,” and “CINAHL” in May
2020. Studies meeting the inclusion criteria were included and assessed for risk of bias. The analysis was conducted
based on the evidence-based typology developed by Bohren et al. as a guide to try to estimate the prevalence of
Results: Eleven studies out of 174 were included. The included studies belonged to only seven Arab countries out
of 22 Arab countries. The mistreatment of women during childbirth is still new in the region. Searching within the
included studies yielded diverse and indirect terms that were a proxy for the word mistreatment. These terms were
not comprehensive to cover different aspects of the topic. The tools that were used to measure the terms widely
varied.. Moreover, it was not possible to estimate the prevalence of mistreatment of women due to high heterogeneity among the 11 studies.
Conclusion: The topic of mistreatment of women in Arab countries was not adequately addressed in the studies included in this review. More research on this topic is recommended due to its importance in improving maternal
health in the region. However, a standardized and comprehensive terminology for mistreatment of women, a standardized tool, and a standardized methodology are recommended to enable comparability between results and allow pooling to estimate the prevalence.

Date Published
18 March 2022
ISSN Number
Journal Name
Reproductive Health