Low birth weight in Papua New Guinea is a killer. Help us research what is causing low birth weight in PNG so that we can stop it.
BACKGROUND: In Thailand, maternal complications and poor neonatal outcomes are common in pregnant adolescents. There are attempts to improve outcomes for this group through specialised antenatal clinics, however, neither the way in which these clinics are provided nor the attitudes of healthcare professionals to pregnant adolescents are known. The aim of this study was to understand the experiences of healthcare professionals in caring for pregnant adolescent women in Thailand. METHODS: A qualitative descriptive design was used. Semi-structured interviews were conducted with 21 healthcare professionals involved in caring for pregnant adolescents across three public hospitals in Bangkok, Thailand. All interviews were analysed thematically. RESULTS: The core concept ‘recognising the challenges of providing care for young Thai pregnant women’ explained the provision of care. This concept contained three main themes: 1) having an awareness of the political and societal contexts and environment of care; 2) being aware of attitudes and the need to develop psychosocial skills in caring for adolescent women; and 3) having different approaches to caring for pregnant adolescents. A lack of continuity of care was a significant barrier in terms of structure and process. Effective communication was important to provide quality care. CONCLUSION: Healthcare professionals recognised that there were barriers to providing effective care for adolescent women. These findings may inform healthcare professionals and policymakers in Thailand in relation to the systems of care required and addressing the needs of pregnant adolescents. This would enable Thailand to meet the goal in providing a positive pregnancy experience for all women.