Priorities for midwifery research in Perth, Western Australia: A Delphi study

Authors

  • Jennifer Fenwick PhD MNsgSt BHSc(Nsg) RM,

    Corresponding author
    1. Associate Professor of Midwifery, School of Nursing and Midwifery, Curtin University of Technology, and King Edward Memorial Hospital, Perth, Western Australia, Australia
      Jennifer Fenwick, School of Nursing and Midwifery, Curtin University of Technology, GPO Box U1987, Perth, WA 6845, Australia. Email: j.fenwick@curtin.edu.au
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  • Janice Butt MA(Ed) PGCEA ADM RM RN(UK),

    1. Senior Midwifery Teaching Fellow, School of Nursing and Midwifery, Curtin University of Technology, and Coordinator Midwifery Education, King Edward Memorial Hospital, Perth, Western Australia, Australia
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  • Jill Downie PhD BAppSc(Nsg) RM RN,

    1. Associate Professor, Head of School, School of Nursing and Midwifery, Curtin University of Technology, Perth, Western Australia, Australia
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  • Leanne Monterosso PhD,

    1. Associate Professor of Children's Health, School of Nursing, Midwifery and Postgraduate Medicine, Edith Cowan University, Perth, Western Australia, Australia
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  • Jennifer Wood MSc PostGrad(Mid) BSc(Nsg) DSc(Nsg)

    1. Lecturer, School of Nursing and Midwifery, Curtin University of Technology, and Senior Midwifery Educator, WCHS King Edward Memorial Hospital, Perth, Western Australia, Australia
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Jennifer Fenwick, School of Nursing and Midwifery, Curtin University of Technology, GPO Box U1987, Perth, WA 6845, Australia. Email: j.fenwick@curtin.edu.au

Abstract

This paper reports a two-round Delphi study undertaken to identify the research priorities of midwives at five public maternity hospitals in Western Australia's metropolitan area of Perth. In round one, 117 midwives identified 64 different problems or issues for research. Using thematic content analysis, these problems were grouped together and then collapsed to develop 17 specific research topics within four major categories. In round two, 152 midwives were asked to rank how important each of the topic statements were to women, their families and midwives. Research focusing on ‘the postnatal experience’ was ranked by midwives as the most important to the care of women and their families. From a midwife's perspective, the highest ranked topic was ‘examining the professional issues that impact on midwives’ clinical practice’ (e.g. midwifery and medical collaboration, potential litigation and horizontal violence in the workplace). The results of the study show that Western Australian midwives, like their national and international colleagues, are concerned about the delivery and organization of maternity services, the invisibility of the postnatal experience and how to operationalize evidence-based care in the clinical area.

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