Self-reported experiences of midwives working in the UK across three phases during COVID-19: a cross-sectional study

McGrory, S, Neill, R.D, Gillen, P, McFadden, P, Manthorpe, J, Ravalier, J.M, Mallett, J, Schroder, H, Currie, D, Moriarty, J and Nicholl, P (2022) 'Self-reported experiences of midwives working in the UK across three phases during COVID-19: a cross-sectional study.' International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, 19 (20). e13000. ISSN 1660-4601

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Official URL: https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph192013000

Abstract

Maternity services cannot be postponed due to the nature of this service, however, the pandemic resulted in wide-ranging and significant changes to working practices and services. This paper aims to describe UK midwives’ experiences of working during the COVID-19 pandemic. This study forms part of a larger multiple phase research project using a cross-sectional design based on an online survey. The online survey used validated psychometric tools to measure work-related quality of life, wellbeing, coping, and burnout as well as open-ended questions to further understand the experiences of staff working during the pandemic. This paper reports the qualitative data collected from the open-ended questions. The qualitative data were subjected to thematic analysis and the four main themes that emerged were ‘relentless stress/pressure’, ‘reconfiguration of services’, ‘protection of self and others’, and ‘workforce challenges’. The key conclusions were that midwives experienced a reduction in quality of working life and significant stress throughout the pandemic due to a range of factors including staffing shortages, restrictions placed on women’s partners, changes to services and management support, all of which compounded workforce pressures that existed prior to the pandemic. This research recommends consultation of front-line midwives in relation to possible changes in practice and workforce planning in preparation for crises such as a pandemic and to ensure equitable and supportive management with access to practical and psychological support

Item Type: Article
Keywords: COVID-19, midwifery, maternity care, stress, burnout, workplace
Divisions: School of Sciences
Identification Number: https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph192013000
Date Deposited: 18 Oct 2022 09:46
Last Modified: 18 Oct 2022 09:46
URI / Page ID: https://researchspace.bathspa.ac.uk/id/eprint/15029
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