Patient Experiences of Montana’s Maternal Healthcare System Report


October 2023


Carly Holman, MS; Annie Glover, PhD, MPH, MPA; Jessica Liddell, PhD, MSW, MPH; Al Garnsey, BA; Patrick Boise, MA; & Emma Piskolich


“The University of Montana Rural Institute for Inclusive Communities conducted a study on patient maternal healthcare experiences as part of a broader maternal health system needs assessment coordinated by the Montana Obstetrics and Maternal Support Program (MOMS). This needs assessment gathers information on Montana’s maternal health system to identify areas of strength and need. The assessment focuses on the health system’s capacity, delivery of services, and the experiences of the patient population.
The maternal healthcare experiences study included a statewide survey and interviews. We used two patient-informed, valid, and reliable scales to assess experiences of respectful care and decision-making. The Mothers on Respect Index [2] and the Mothers Autonomy in Decision Making Scale [10] were developed through a community-led participatory action research project in which a diverse group of childbearing people determined priority components of respectful care and shared decision-making. We used these scales to gather information on patient maternity care experiences in Montana. We also conducted semi-structured interviews and asked participants to describe their care experiences during pregnancy, birth, and postpartum. The study had 484 survey participants and 39 semi-structured interview participants. Participants lived in 41 of Montana’s 56 counties, with just over half (54%) in rural communities.”

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