The RESPCCT Study: Research Examining the Stories of Pregnancy and Childbearing in Canada Today
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Researcher bios and how their research backgrounds relate to this study
Lesley Tarasoff has been doing research in the area of perinatal health, including on the perinatal health of marginalized populations, including sexual minority women and women with disabilities. Lesley is a current a Postdoctoral Research Fellow at the University of Toronto Scarborough, and holds a PhD in Public Health Sciences from the University of Toronto, and is a Co-Investigator on the RESPCCT Study.
Saraswathi Vedam is Lead Investigator of the Birth Place Lab and Professor of Midwifery, at University of British Columbia. She has been a clinician and a health professional educator for 35 years. Professor Vedam has successfully coordinated multi-stakeholder and community-led research projects in provincial, national, and international settings. Professor Vedam is currently PI of a CIHR-funded national research project to evaluate respectful maternity care, Research Examining the Stories of Pregnancy and Childbearing Today (RESPCCT). In 2017, she was selected as one of the inaugural Michael Smith Health Research Institute Health Professional Investigators.
Dr. Vedam has applied her expertise with instrument development and psychometric evaluation to the development of clinical screening tools, MAPi, the Movement and Pulse index to assess fetal well-being, and scales to measure provider attitudes to home birth (PAPHB, PAPHI-i), and autonomy (MADM) and respect (MORi) during pregnancy and childbirth. Professor Vedam has been active in setting national and international policy on place of birth, and midwifery education and regulation. She has provided expert consultations to policy makers in Mexico, Hungary, Chile, China, the Czech Republic, Canada, the US, and India.
Information about the research team can be found here: https://www.respcct.ca/research-team/
Purpose of this research project
Very little is known about how people experience care during pregnancy and childbirth across Canada, especially among people with various identities, circumstances and backgrounds. Differences in experiences and outcomes across communities may be linked to access to care, their individual health status, and/or how they are treated. We do not know for sure, and there is very little research that has asked community members to decide on what is most important to study and understand.
In the RESPCCT study, a diverse group of people who had recent pregnancy experiences created or chose the questions to ask. They worked with researchers and community-based organizations to develop this survey, and to reach people across Canada who want to tell their stories of pregnancy and childbearing.
Information gathered in the survey will be used to improve pregnancy and childbearing care for all types of communities.
The purpose of this study is to:
- Develop a person-centered survey that measures the quality of maternity care in Canada;
- Describe the pregnant people, families and communities who report respectful care in Canada;
- Explore factors that link to experiences of respect, support, disrespect, and/or mistreatment;
- Examine links between respectful care during pregnancy, birth, and postpartum well-being of the family; and,
- Help the community develop and execute a plan for sharing and using the knowledge gained in the study.
How this research will help LGBT2SQ people and communities
Very little is known about how people experience care during pregnancy and childbirth across Canada, especially among LGBT2SQ people and communities. Differences in care experiences and pregnancy outcomes within these communities may be linked to access to care for LGBT2SQ people and/or how they are treated in their care. We do not know for sure, and there is very little research that has asked LGBTSQ community members to decide on what is most important to study and understand.
In the RESPCCT study, a diverse group of people, including LGBTSQ people, who had recent pregnancy experiences created or chose the questions to ask. They worked with researchers and community-based organizations to develop this survey, and to reach people across Canada who want to tell their stories of pregnancy and childbearing.
Information gathered in the surveys will be used to improve pregnancy and childbearing care for LGBTSQ communities.
Anyone who is currently pregnant or who has had pregnancy and/or childbearing care in Canada in the last 10 years is welcome to participate.
This study is inclusive of trans/non-binary people, as well as those who have experienced pregnancy loss.
All RESPCCT survey participants will have the option to be entered into a draw for twenty Visa cards of $200 each.
Participants may be asked about potentially distressing information about their pregnancy and maternal care experiences and sensitive information about themselves (e.g. about history of incarceration or drug use). Participants will be told ahead of time about the nature of the questions and can also stop the survey at any time. All except the eligibility questions, can be skipped.
On the consent form we make participants aware of a counselling service they can access if they are triggered by the questions and would like to talk to a professional about it. The link to the resources is also copied at the end of the survey.
Promoting the Study
We are promoting the study through social media (including through Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram) and by putting up posters in community spaces. The survey and promotional materials are available in English, French, Spanish, Arabic, Punjabi, Chinese (Simple and Traditional), and Inuktitut.
Regional Recruitment Coordinators help recruit people in different communities across Canada: https://www.respcct.ca/meet-the-rrcs/