Quality of maternal and newborn care in Switzerland during the COVID-19 pandemic: A cross-sectional study based on WHO quality standards

Claire de Labrusse (Coresponding Author), Alessia Abderhalden-Zellweger, Ilaria Mariani, the IMAgiNE EURO Study Group, Elizabete Pumpure (Member of the Working Group), Dace Rezeberga (Member of the Working Group), Gita Jansone-Šantare (Member of the Working Group), Dārta Jakovicka (Member of the Working Group), Anna Regīna Knoka (Member of the Working Group), Katrīna Paula Vilcāne (Member of the Working Group)

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)


Objective: To explore quality of maternal and newborn care (QMNC) in healthcare facilities during the COVID-19 pandemic in Switzerland. Methods: Women giving birth in Switzerland answered a validated online questionnaire including 40 WHO standards-based quality measures. QMNC score was calculated according to linguistic region and mode of birth. Differences were assessed using logistic regression analysis adjusting for relevant variables. Results: A total of 1175 women were included in the analysis. Limitations in QMNC during the pandemic were reported by 328 (27.9%) women. Several quality measures, such as deficient communication (18.0%, n = 212), insufficient number of healthcare professionals (19.7%, n = 231), no information on the newborn after cesarean (26.5%, n = 91) or maternal and newborn danger signs (34.1%, n = 401 and 41.4% n = 487, respectively) suggested preventable gaps in QMNC. Quality measures significantly differed by linguistic region and mode of birth. Multivariate analysis established a significantly lower QMNC for women in French- and Italian-speaking regions compared with the German-speaking region. Moreover, in several quality indicators reflecting communication with healthcare providers, women who did not answer the questionnaire in one of the Swiss national languages had significantly worse scores than others. A significant lower QMNC was also found for young and primiparous women and for those who experienced cesarean or instrumental vaginal birth. Conclusion: Women giving birth in Switzerland during the pandemic reported notable gaps in QMNC. Providers should be attuned to women who are younger, primiparous, and those who had an emergency cesarean or instrumental vaginal birth given the lower QMNC reported by these groups. Women who did not respond in a Swiss national language may need improved communication strategies.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)70-84
Number of pages15
JournalInternational Journal of Gynecology and Obstetrics
Issue numberSuppl.1
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2022


  • COVID-19
  • maternal health
  • maternity services
  • mode of birth
  • quality of care
  • Switzerland
  • WHO standards

Field of Science*

  • 3.2 Clinical medicine
  • 3.3 Health sciences

Publication Type*

  • 1.1. Scientific article indexed in Web of Science and/or Scopus database


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