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An exploration of labour ward midwives accessing and using information for practice

An exploration of labour ward midwives accessing and using information for practice
An exploration of labour ward midwives accessing and using information for practice
Aims: This study explored how midwives access and use information whilst caring for women with high risk needs in the labour ward. The study focussed on identification of information needs, sources and types of information, use of information and what facilitates and inhibits information access.

Background: Social trends and advancing healthcare mean that the complexity of care for the minority of women who are recommended to birth in the labour ward is increasing. The immediacy and unpredictability of this suggests that midwives need to access information whilst with women in order to deliver excellent care.

Method and analysis: As midwives are a social group, the principles of ethnography were used. Between October 2011 and March 2012 twenty-one purposively sampled midwife participants were observed providing care to women with high risk needs on the labour ward. Ten of these observed midwives were purposively sampled for interview. The data were analysed with thematic analysis using open and focussed coding.

Findings: Midwives identify their information needs through their professional knowledge. Information sources used by midwives include maternity notes, guidelines, equipment, computers and the environment. Verbal information is transmitted through a network of women and colleagues via midwives. Midwives seek different types of information: woman specific, practice based, objective and organisational. Factors that facilitate and inhibit information access are related to the search time, usability, versatility and approachability of the source or channel rather than reliability. There are information proficient characteristics shown by some midwives.

Implications for practice and research: The verbal information network could be enhanced to include women in care collaborations. Information proficiency as a potentially learnable skill may be taught to midwives to improve information access. If reliable sources and channels are accessible, usable and approachable it may increase their use. Passive information, information need and information types as areas that may influence practice require further research.
Jenkins, Elinor
b0de5329-6631-41ce-ad2f-1eed343543f2
Jenkins, Elinor
b0de5329-6631-41ce-ad2f-1eed343543f2
Cluett, Elizabeth
cfa2fd26-8cc0-485c-876b-73fe92e9b4e1
Colley, Susan
e1753c8d-7b6f-4980-a362-e1dd71e444ce

(2016) An exploration of labour ward midwives accessing and using information for practice. University of Southampton, Faculty of Health Sciences, Doctoral Thesis, 348pp.

Record type: Thesis (Doctoral)

Abstract

Aims: This study explored how midwives access and use information whilst caring for women with high risk needs in the labour ward. The study focussed on identification of information needs, sources and types of information, use of information and what facilitates and inhibits information access.

Background: Social trends and advancing healthcare mean that the complexity of care for the minority of women who are recommended to birth in the labour ward is increasing. The immediacy and unpredictability of this suggests that midwives need to access information whilst with women in order to deliver excellent care.

Method and analysis: As midwives are a social group, the principles of ethnography were used. Between October 2011 and March 2012 twenty-one purposively sampled midwife participants were observed providing care to women with high risk needs on the labour ward. Ten of these observed midwives were purposively sampled for interview. The data were analysed with thematic analysis using open and focussed coding.

Findings: Midwives identify their information needs through their professional knowledge. Information sources used by midwives include maternity notes, guidelines, equipment, computers and the environment. Verbal information is transmitted through a network of women and colleagues via midwives. Midwives seek different types of information: woman specific, practice based, objective and organisational. Factors that facilitate and inhibit information access are related to the search time, usability, versatility and approachability of the source or channel rather than reliability. There are information proficient characteristics shown by some midwives.

Implications for practice and research: The verbal information network could be enhanced to include women in care collaborations. Information proficiency as a potentially learnable skill may be taught to midwives to improve information access. If reliable sources and channels are accessible, usable and approachable it may increase their use. Passive information, information need and information types as areas that may influence practice require further research.

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More information

Published date: March 2016
Organisations: University of Southampton, Faculty of Health Sciences

Identifiers

Local EPrints ID: 389417
URI: http://eprints.soton.ac.uk/id/eprint/389417
PURE UUID: 8e502fc8-401c-4d61-a9ff-2880d128e3d9
ORCID for Elizabeth Cluett: ORCID iD orcid.org/0000-0002-8707-5042

Catalogue record

Date deposited: 07 Mar 2016 13:47
Last modified: 06 Jun 2018 13:03

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Contributors

Author: Elinor Jenkins
Thesis advisor: Elizabeth Cluett ORCID iD
Thesis advisor: Susan Colley

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