Rural Maternity Service Closures: Implications for Referral Hospitals

August 2005 – March 2007

Research Team

  • Principal Investigators: Jude Kornelsen and Shiraz Moola
  • Co-Investigators:  Stefan Grzybowski, Sheryll Dale, Lana Sullivan, Cynthia Lin Hsieh
    Support Team:  Cynthia Lin Hsieh

Funding Agency

  • British Columbia Medical Services Foundation, Vancouver Foundation


  • Terrace, Prince Rupert, Courtenay/Comox, Trail, Nelson

Project Summary

The goal of this research is to investigate the experience of referral hospitals in caring for an expanded maternity patient population due to increasing outflow of parturient women from satellite communities.  Specific objectives include an investigation of:

  1. the impact of the increased outflow of maternity patients from satellite communities on the health human resources of referral communities;
  2. the mechanisms used by referral community hospitals to accommodate this increase; and
  3. administrators’ and practitioners’ perceptions of the quality of maternity care for women from remote communities.

This mixed-methods project involved in-depth interviews with care providers and administrators about their perceptions of maternity services in their communities, a comprehensive chart review of all women who were induced over the last 2 years at the referral centres we visited, and a large data request to the British Columbia Reproductive Care Program for maternal/newborn outcomes of 14 referral hospitals over the last 4 years.

Related Links

Kornelsen, J., Moola, S., & Grzybowski, S. (2007).  Geographic induction of rural parturient women: Is it time for a protocol?  J Obstet Gynaecol Can, 29 (7), 583-585.

Kornelsen, J., Moola, S., & Grzybowski, S. (2009). Does distance matter? Increased induction rates for rural women who have to travel for intrapartum care.  J Obstet Gynaecol Can, 31 (1), 21-27.