Background: The concept of responsiveness was introduced by the World Health Organization (WHO) to address non-clinical aspects of service quality in an internationally comparable way. Responsiveness is defined as aspects of the way individuals are treated and the environment in which they are treated during health system interactions. The aim of this study is to assess responsiveness outcomes, their importance and factors influencing responsiveness outcomes during the antenatal and delivery phases of perinatal care. Method: The Responsiveness in Perinatal and Obstetric Health Care Questionnaire was developed in 2009/10 based on the eight-domain WHO concept and the World Health Survey questionnaire. After ethical approval, a total of 171 women, who were 2 weeks postpartum, were recruited from three primary care midwifery practices in Rotterdam, the Netherlands, using face-to-face interviews. We dichotomized the original five ordinal response categories for responsiveness attainment as 'poor' and good responsiveness and analyzed the ranking of the domain performance and importance according to frequency scores. We used a series of independent variables related to health services and users' personal background characteristics in multiple logistic regression analyses to explain responsiveness. Results: Poor responsiveness outcomes ranged from 5.9% to 31.7% for the antenatal phase and from 9.7% to 27.1% for the delivery phase. Overall for both phases, 'respect for persons' (Autonomy, Dignity, Communication and Confidentiality) domains performed better and were judged to be more important than 'client orientation' domains (Choice and Continuity, Prompt Attention, Quality of Basic Amenities, Social Consideration). On the whole, responsiveness was explained more by health-care and health related issues than personal characteristics. Conclusion: To improve responsiveness outcomes caregivers should focus on domains in the category 'client orientation'.

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Keywords Birth care, Perinatal care, Quality of care, Responsiveness
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Journal BMC Pregnancy and Childbirth
van der Kooy, J. (Jacoba), Birnie, E, Valentine, N, de Graaf, J.P, Denktaş, S, Steegers, E.A.P, & Bonsel, G.J. (2017). Quality of perinatal care services from the user's perspective: A Dutch study applies the World Health Organization's responsiveness concept. BMC Pregnancy and Childbirth, 17(1). doi:10.1186/s12884-017-1464-8