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Project PAROLES: Plurality and Amplification of Voices for Respect in Obstetric and Gynecological Care

Diverse Needs of Women and Individuals Receiving Obstetric and Gynecological Care in Quebec: A Mixed Methodological Approach to Document Stakeholder Perspectives and Identify Practices that Promote the Humanization of Care

Gynecological and Obstetric Care: Why Pay Attention?

For many years, voices have been raised to denounce experiences of obstetric and gynecological care (OGC) that fail to respect the needs and rights of those receiving them. Certain segments of the population report these experiences more frequently than others, based on their cultural identities or social standings, such as Indigenous women and racialized women (Vedam et al., 2019). While these situations have been inadequately documented in Quebec, they are of concern to rights advocacy groups, researchers, healthcare personnel, and most importantly, the individuals receiving these care services, regardless of their gender identity. This includes cisgender women, transgender individuals, queer individuals, and non-binary individuals.

Project Objectives

With a view to enhancing practices, the project "PAROLES" (Plurality and Amplification of Voices for Respect in Obstetrics and Gynecology) first focuses on the experiences of OGC as perceived and lived by those receiving these care services in Quebec, with special attention to engaging those whose voices are often marginalized. The project also aims to comprehend their needs and expectations related to these care services. Subsequently, it aims to document healthcare professionals' perceptions of OGC and to identify the obstacles and facilitative factors for adopting patient-centered practices.

Who may participate?

  • Individuals who have received obstetric and gynecological care in Quebec over the past 7 years

What does my participation entail?

Participation in this study involves filling out an online questionnaire. This questionnaire will cover various aspects of your experience with obstetric and gynecological care in Quebec. You will be invited to share your experiences related to your medical journey, specific needs during these treatments, as well as any situations where you may have perceived a lack of respect. Additionally, questions will be asked regarding your current health status and overall well-being.

Why participate?

Your participation will assist us in gaining a deeper understanding of the experiences of women and individuals receiving obstetric or gynecological care in Quebec. Ultimately, this could lead to raising awareness among healthcare personnel and enhancing the delivery of these care services.

Are there any risks or inconvenients?

Sharing experiences of obstetric and gynecological care can bring forth painful memories or negative emotions. Similarly, certain more specific questions could potentially make them uncomfortable due to their sensitive nature (e.g. sexuality, violence). At all times, they have the option not to answer a question that they find embarrassing or uncomfortable. They can choose to discontinue their participation at any point. Following the questionnaire, we will provide a list of resources that they can reach out to if needed.

To participate

If you are eligible to participate, you can click on the following link to fill out the online questionnaire: https://uqamfsh.ca1.qualtrics.com/jfe/form/SV_dhyCCjUnc2CDc6W?Q_CHL=qr

Detailed description of the study

The project « PAROLES » consists of 4 complementary components:

Quantitative Survey: The first component involves an anonymous quantitative questionnaire available online to gather experiences of gynecological or obstetric care received in Quebec over the past 7 years. This phase will collect data reflecting participants' assessments of various care-related aspects such as autonomy, information sharing, involvement in care, consent, etc. Participants will also express their needs and expectations regarding gynecological and obstetric care.

Qualitative Interviews: The second component, qualitative in nature, will involve individual interviews with individuals who have experienced disrespectful or abusive gynecological or obstetric care. These interviews aim to deeply document instances of gynecological and obstetric violence experienced in Quebec and to understand the contexts in which they occurred.

Healthcare Staff Perspective: The third component will utilize an anonymous online questionnaire completed by healthcare staff members. This will help identify factors that can promote respectful gynecological and obstetric care while also shedding light on obstacles to adopting patient-centered practices. Discussion groups involving healthcare professionals from different disciplines will further advance these reflections and identify practices and initiatives that lead to a greater humanization of gynecological and obstetric care.

Research-Creation Component: The final research-creation component will highlight the collected data by presenting them in various forms aimed at engaging and sensitizing diverse audiences. This will include posters, installations, animated video clips, and data visualization inspired by DATA ART.

Project Team

  • Component 1 : Sylvie Lévesque – Département de sexologie (UQAM), Isabelle Boucoiran – CHU Sainte-Justine, Natacha Godbout – Département de sexologie (UQAM), 
  • Component 2 : Sophie Gilbert – Département de psychologie (UQAM), Raymonde Gagnon – Département Sage femmes (UQTR), Geneviève McCready – Sciences infirmières (UQAR)   
  • Component 3 : Julie Beauchamp – Département de psychiatrie et de neurosciences (ULaval), Catherine Flynn – Unité d’enseignement en travail social (UQAC), Suzy Basile – École d’études autochtones (UQAT), Geneviève McCready – Sciences infirmières (UQAR)  
  • Component 4 : Maude Bouchard – École de design (ULaval), François-Joseph Lapointe – Sciences biologiques (UdeM), Jean-Jacques Tremblay –   École de design (ULaval)  

Associate Researchers

  • Audrey Ferron-Parayre – Droit civil (UOttawa), Saraswathi Vedam – Midwifery, University of British-Columbia (UBC), Vardit Ravitsky – Bioéthique (UdeM), Manon Bergeron – Département de sexologie (UQÀM)


  • Rania Ammar – Maitrise en santé publique (UdeM), sous la supervision d’Isabelle Boucoiran et Sylvie Lévesque
  • Aurélie Milord, doctorat en sexologie (UQAM), sous la supervision de Sylvie Lévesque et Sophie Gilbert

Coordination: Aurélie Milord (UQAM)

Research assistants: Anna Medvetskaya(UQAM), Arianne Jean-Thorn (UQAM), Ariane Boulet (UQAM), Mylène Shankland (UOttawa), Valeria Rosales Pincetti (UQAM),     

Professional: Chantale Lecours – Statistical Consultant  


This 3-year research project is supported by the Quebec Research Fund – Society and Culture (FRQSC), the Ministry of Health and Social Services (MSSS), and the Secretariat for Women's Issues (SCF), as part of the concerted action program on emerging women's health and well-being needs (2022-2025). 

Partners from practice settings

  • Lorraine Fontaine –  Respected Birth Coalition (RNR)
  • Sarah Landry and Roxanne Lorrain – Movement for Autonomy in Maternity and Natural Childbirth (Groupe MAMAN)
  • Jess Legault – Quebec Federation for Family Planning (FQPN)
  • Djenabou Sangare – Network for Action on Equality for Immigrant and Racialized Women of Quebec (RAFIQ)
  • Stéphanie Vallée – L’R Women's Centers Network of Quebec (L’R)
  • Marie-Noelle Angers - Perinatal Resources Centers Network of Quebec (RCRPQ)
  • Yasemin Tuncer – DisAbled Women's Network of Canada (RAFH/DAWN)
  • Florence Yvon – Interline
  • Hélène Plummard – CHU Sainte-Justine
  • Kim Couture – MAM Around Maternity
  • Julie Raby – Women's Relay

Collaborators from Associative and Professional Environments:

  • Association of Midwives of Quebec (RSFQ)
  • Order of Midwives of Quebec (OSFQ)
  • Quebec Association of Nurses (AQII)
  • Group of Specialists in Feto-Maternal Medicine of Quebec (MFMQ)
  • Association of General Practitioners in Perinatology of Quebec (AOPQ)
  • Association of Obstetricians and Gynecologists of Quebec (AOGQ)
  • Order of Nurses Practitioners of Quebec (OIIQ)
  • College of Physicians of Quebec (CMQ)

Contact information

Isabelle Boucoiran , M.Sc. , M.D.
Phone: 514-345-4931 ext.6909 / 4499
Fax: 514 345-4648

Link to study Web page

sylvie levesque (uqam.ca)

Link to online questionnaire


About this page
Updated on 8/21/2023
Created on 8/21/2023
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