Public health education for midwives and midwifery students: a mixed methods study
Research output: Contribution to journal › Article
Methods: This was a mixed methods study incorporating a survey of Higher Educational Institutions providing pre registration midwifery education across the UK and focus groups with midwifery students and registered midwives.
Results: Twenty nine institutions (53% response) participated in the survey and nine focus groups were conducted (59 participants). Public health education was generally integrated into pre registration midwifery curricula as opposed to taught as a discrete subject. There was considerable variation in the provision of public health topics within midwifery curricula and the hours of teaching allocated to them. Focus group data indicated that it was consistently difficult for both midwifery students and midwives to articulate clearly their understanding and definition of public health in relation to midwifery.
Conclusions: There is a unique opportunity to impact on maternal and infant health throughout the reproductive period; however the current approach to public health within midwifery education should be reviewed to capitalise on the role of the midwife in delivering public health interventions. It is clear that better understanding of midwifery public health roles and the visibility of public health within midwifery is required in order to maximise the potential contribution of midwives to achieving short and long term public health population goals.
- Public health, Midwifery, Education, Training