Maternity care providers’ involvement in research

Maternity care providers’ involvement in research

S. Shiplo (1), S.Meaney (1,2), K. O’Donoghue (1,3)

(1) Pregnancy Loss Research Group, Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, University College Cork, Ireland; (2) National Perinatal Epidemiology Centre, University College Cork, Ireland; (3) The Irish Centre for Fetal and Neonatal Translational Research (INFANT), University College Cork, Ireland.

Despite a widely acknowledged importance of research for improving patient care and outcomes, research in pregnant women is lacking. Many challenges innate to conducting research in pregnant women may discourage maternity care providers from engaging in research. To date, there is limited data examining research involvement by maternity care providers. Thus, the objective of this study is to assess maternity care providers’ involvement in research, their perception of research, as well as facilitators and barriers to participating in research.

A total sample of 145 maternity care providers were recruited from Cork University Maternity Hospital in Cork, Ireland. Maternity care providers were defined as midwives, nurses, sonographers, non-consultant and consultant obstetricians. Participants completed a cross-sectional survey, including a 5–point Likert Scale, between May and October 2018.

Overall, 50.3% of maternity care providers who participated in the present study reported ever taking part in conducting research. Medical staff were more likely to report being given the opportunity and to have ever conducted research compared to midwives (p<0.05). Participants agreed that medical research is important to maintain the quality of care provided to women (Mean=4.86) and reported that they disagreed that they have no interest in research (Mean=2.32). However, medical staff were more likely to report understanding research methodology and feeling competent to undertake research (Mean=3.85 v 3.28, p=0.002; Mean=3.56 v 2.60, p<0.05) compared to midwives.

The findings suggest future strategies aimed at increased opportunities for midwives to be involved in research as well as additional research training will likely support maternity care providers conducting research with pregnant women. An increase in maternity care research will improve the evidence base ultimately contributing to enhanced maternity care.

Ethics Statement
The present study received ethics approval by University College Cork, Clinical Research Ethics Committee.

Keywords: maternity care, education

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