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Implementation of maternity protection legislation: Gynecologists’ perceptions and practices in French-speaking Switzerland

Type of publication Peer-reviewed
Publikationsform Original article (peer-reviewed)
Author Abderhalden-Zellweger Alessia, Probst Isabelle, Politis Mercier Maria-Pia, Danuser Brigitta, Wild Pascal, Krief Peggy,
Project Protection de la maternité au travail : pratiques, obstacles, ressources
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Original article (peer-reviewed)

Journal PLOS ONE
Volume (Issue) 15(4)
Page(s) e0231858 - e0231858
Title of proceedings PLOS ONE
DOI 10.1371/journal.pone.0231858

Open Access

Type of Open Access Publisher (Gold Open Access)


Background In several countries, maternity protection legislations (MPL) confer an essential role to gynecologist-obstetricians (OBGYNs) for the protection of pregnant workers and their future children from occupational exposures. This study explores OBGYNs’ practices and difficulties in implementing MPL in the French-speaking part of Switzerland. Methods An online survey was sent to 333 OBGYNs. Data analysis included: 1) descriptive and correlational statistics and 2) hierarchical cluster analysis to identify patterns of practices. Results OBGYNs evoked several problems in MPL implementation: absence of risk analysis in the companies, difficult collaboration with employers, lack of competencies in the field of occupational health. Preventive leave was underused, with sick leave being prescribed instead. Training had a positive effect on OBGYNs’ knowledge and implementation of MPL. Hierarchical cluster analysis highlighted three main types of practices: 1) practice in line with legislation; 2) practice on a case-by-case basis; 3) limited practice. OBGYNs with good knowledge of MPL more consistently applied its provisions. Conclusion The implementation of MPL appears challenging for OBGYNs. Collaboration with occupational physicians and training might help OBGYNs to better take on their role in maternity protection. MPL in itself could be improved.