The Consortium provides leadership and strategic direction to drive progressive, high quality, evidence-informed midwifery education, recognising education’s important role in shaping maternity services in Australia and New Zealand.
Foundation to the Consortium’s efforts is the implicit understanding that continuity of midwifery led care provides the best maternity outcomes for childbearing women and their babies and that the goal of midwifery education is to prepare midwives for this role.
The role of the Consortium is to drive the transformation of midwifery education in Australia and New Zealand by identifying and undertaking research and providing a united voice and direction for midwifery education.
A number of studies are currently being undertaken by the Consortium, including:
Developing a tool to measure woman-centredness
Qualitative research was undertaken at the University of Canberra on the continuity of care experience of student midwives. This research suggested that one of the key benefits was that students developed a woman-centred approach to care. This approach to care persisted following graduation and registration as a midwife regardless of the model of care in which they subsequently worked. Multiple stakeholder perspectives were reported.
We decided it would be useful to measure self-reported woman-centred care behaviours in midwives so that we could compare midwives across countries, models of care, and educational preparation (e.g. Bachelor of Midwifery versus Graduate Diploma), and the number of continuity of care experiences undertaken during the education program.
An extensive literature search did not identify any validated tools that measured woman-centredness in relation to maternity care, therefore this project will use a staged process to develop and test the psychometric properties of a tool for this purpose.
Study 1 Identifying the priorities for midwifery education across Australia and New Zealand: A Delphi study Lead Mary Sidebotham
This 2 round Delphi study identified the following five key themes
- Enabling success of First Peoples/Māori midwifery students;
- Increasing the visibility and influence of midwifery within regulation, accreditation and university governance;
- Determining how best to deliver the clinical practicum component of programs;
- Reviewing midwifery programs to enhance design, content and delivery;
- Ongoing education and support for the midwifery workforce. Members of the consortium are now working together to design projects to address these priority areas.
Study 2 Acknowledging the primacy of continuity of care experiences in midwifery education.
This collaborative study aimed to examine the current evidence to :
- Identify the educational value and pedagogical intent of the continuity of care experience:
- Identify issues with the implementation, completion and
assessment of learning associated with continuity of care experience;
- Provide educational design and program delivery models that facilitate achievement of learning outcomes associated with continuity of care experience.
The study concluded that education standards that preference continuity of care experience as the optimal clinical education model with measurable learning outcomes, and alignment to a whole of program philosophy and program learning outcomes are required.
Lead: Professor Jenny Gamble
Gamble,J., Sidebotham,M., Gilkison,A., Davis,D., Sweet,L. (2019) Acknowledging the primacy of continuity of care experiences in midwifery education. Women and Birth, 33(2), 111-118.
The Consortium is also participating in research to measure midwifery students experience of clinical education using the tool we developed: Midwifery Student Evaluation of Practice (MidSTEP). More information about the study and MidSTEP can be found here.