Implementation and upscaling of midwifery continuity of care: The experience of midwives and obstetricians

Styles, Cathy, Kearney, Lauren, and George, Kendall (2020) Implementation and upscaling of midwifery continuity of care: The experience of midwives and obstetricians. Women and Birth, 33 (4). pp. 343-351.

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Problem: Despite high quality evidence supporting midwifery continuity of care, access to this model is limited in many parts of Australia and internationally.

Background: The models of care provided to women have a strong influence on their perinatal experience and clinical outcomes. Midwifery Continuity of Care (CoC) is arguably the most significant factor in enhancing women’s clinical outcomes during child-bearing and facilitating a positive childbirth experience. Health system change is required, yet little literature has detailed the actualisation of this in the context of upscaling midwifery CoC.

Research question/aim: This study aimed to explore the perceptions and experiences of midwifery and obstetric staff during the implementation and upscaling of midwifery CoC within a regional hospital and health service in coastal Queensland, Australia.

Methods: A single-site, qualitative enquiry. Obstetricians and midwives participated in semi-structured interviews or focus groups at two-time points: within 2 months of introduction of the CoC service (obstetricians n = 6; midwives n = 15); and 2-years after implementation (obstetricians n = 5; midwives n = 17). Data were analysed thematically.

Findings: Four key themes and several categories were generated from the data: hopes and expectations; clinical and practice changes; organisational and structural change; and, future directions.

Discussion: Organisational culture, structural change, communication processes and collaborative relationships can be used to inform future scale-up and sustain midwifery caseload care. Specifically, communication, inter-disciplinary collegial relationships, and managerial support are crucial to the sustainability and ultimate upscaling of caseload midwifery care.

Conclusion: System change is challenging, but in order to improve access to midwifery CoC is necessary.

Item ID: 73397
Item Type: Article (Research - C1)
ISSN: 1878-1799
Keywords: midwife, continuity of care, models of care, organizational change, qualitative research
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Copyright Information: © 2019 Australian College of Midwives. Published by Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
Date Deposited: 20 Apr 2022 01:47
FoR Codes: 42 HEALTH SCIENCES > 4204 Midwifery > 420402 Models of care and place of birth @ 50%
42 HEALTH SCIENCES > 4203 Health services and systems > 420311 Health systems @ 50%
SEO Codes: 20 HEALTH > 2003 Provision of health and support services > 200306 Midwifery @ 100%
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