Labouring together: collaborative alliances in maternity care in Victoria, Australia-protocol of a mixed-methods study

Watkins, Vanessa, Nagle, Cate, Kent, Bridie, and Hutchinson, Alison M. (2017) Labouring together: collaborative alliances in maternity care in Victoria, Australia-protocol of a mixed-methods study. BMJ Open, 7 (3). e014262.

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Introduction: For over a decade, enquiries into adverse perinatal outcomes have led to reports that poor collaboration has been detrimental to the safety and experience of maternity care. Despite efforts to improve collaboration, investigations into maternity care at Morecambe Bay (UK) and Djerriwarrh Health Services (Australia) have revealed that poor collaboration and decision-making remain a threat to perinatal safety. The Labouring Together study will investigate how elements hypothesised to influence the effectiveness of collaboration are reflected in perceptions and experiences of clinicians and childbearing women in Victoria, Australia. The study will explore conditions that assist clinicians and women to work collaboratively to support positive maternity outcomes. Results of the study will provide a platform for consumers, clinician groups, organisations and policymakers to work together to improve the quality, safety and experience of maternity care.

Methods and analysis: 4 case study sites have been selected to represent a range of models of maternity care in metropolitan and regional Victoria, Australia. A mixed-methods approach including cross-sectional surveys and interviews will be used in each case study site, involving both clinicians and consumers. Quantitative data analysis will include descriptive statistics, 2-way multivariate analysis of variance for the dependent and independent variables, and x(2) analysis to identify the degree of congruence between consumer preferences and experiences. Interview data will be analysed for emerging themes and concepts. Data will then be analysed for convergent lines of enquiry supported by triangulation of data to draw conclusions.

Ethics and dissemination: Organisational ethics approval has been received from the case study sites and Deakin University Human Research Ethics Committee (2014-238). Dissemination of the results of the Labouring Together study will be via peerreviewed publications and conference presentations, and in written reports for each case study site to support organisational change.

Item ID: 51170
Item Type: Article (Research - C1)
ISSN: 2044-6055
Keywords: collaboration; maternity care; clinicians
Additional Information:

This is an Open Access article distributed in accordance with the Creative Commons Attribution Non Commercial (CC BY-NC 4.0) license, which permits others to distribute, remix, adapt, build upon this work non-commercially, and license their derivative works on different terms, provided the original work is properly cited and the use is non-commercial. See:

Funders: Australian Nursing and Midwifery Federation (ANMF), Deakin University
Projects and Grants: ANMF 2015 research grant
Date Deposited: 11 Oct 2017 07:45
FoR Codes: 42 HEALTH SCIENCES > 4204 Midwifery > 420499 Midwifery not elsewhere classified @ 70%
32 BIOMEDICAL AND CLINICAL SCIENCES > 3215 Reproductive medicine > 321502 Obstetrics and gynaecology @ 30%
SEO Codes: 92 HEALTH > 9205 Specific Population Health (excl. Indigenous Health) > 920507 Womens Health @ 100%
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