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:
Study 1 – The educational value of continuity of care in programs leading to registration as a midwife
A discussion and debate paper proposing that student continuity of care experiences are central to program coherence and therefore to graduates achieving better program outcomes.
Study 2 – Priorities in midwifery education
A two-stage Delphi project was commenced in September 2018 to identify issues, challenges, and priorities in midwifery education that will help inform the strategic direction of the Trans-Tasman Midwifery Education Consortium.
The classic Delphi technique uses a series of consecutive questionnaires to aggregate the judgements of a group of individuals. The initial questionnaire asks individuals to respond to a broad question.
Responses are then analysed, summarised and returned to study participants for further decision-making.
This process allows the individual to consider the group’s viewpoint and, therefore, re-evaluate their own opinions within this context. This process is continued until enough information is obtained or consensus has been achieved.
Stage one of the study was conducted with attendees at the Trans-Tasman Midwifery Education conference – Transforming Midwifery Practice through Education in 2018. The stage two Delphi questionnaire was distributed in early 2019.
Study 3 – Develop 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.
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.