Date of Award

Fall 2011

Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Science (MSc)


Health Research Methodology


Ivy Lynn Bourgeault




Objective: Despite the known benefits of prenatal care, not all women access it equally. Evidence suggests women in Nunavut utilize prenatal care less than in any other jurisdiction in Canada and there is an absence of literature that explains why. This study seeks to improve our understanding of the factors influencing utilization of prenatal care for women in Nunavut by exploring the barriers, facilitators and motivators to utilization.

Methods: A qualitative, descriptive approach was used. Community collaboration informed the research process. Data were analyzed from 21 semi-structured interviews conducted with pregnant and postpartum women and maternity care providers in two Nunavut communities. Using a socioecological model of health services utilization and inductive content analysis, transcribed interviews were analysed to determine the factors that influence prenatal care utilization.

Findings: Utilization of prenatal care was influenced by personal, situational and system-related barriers, facilitators and motivators. Personal and situational barriers, facilitators and motivators to care were similar among women from both communities. System-related barriers and facilitators, related to the model of prenatal care and its delivery, differed between the two communities with barriers including language, appointment scheduling and waiting times.

Conclusion: System-related barriers reduced access to prenatal care for women in one Nunavut community. Access may be improved in communities with low utilization by revising the current model of prenatal care to reflect care delivered in communities where care providers have dedicated prenatal care roles.

McMaster University Library