Midwives’ views of caseload midwifery – comparing the caseload and non-caseload midwives’ opinions. A cross-sectional survey of Australian midwives

Journal article


Newton, Michelle, Dawson, Kate, Forster, Della and McLachlan, Helen. (2021). Midwives’ views of caseload midwifery – comparing the caseload and non-caseload midwives’ opinions. A cross-sectional survey of Australian midwives. Women and Birth. 34(1), pp. e47-e56. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.wombi.2020.06.006
AuthorsNewton, Michelle, Dawson, Kate, Forster, Della and McLachlan, Helen
Abstract

Background
Midwife-led continuity of care has substantial benefits for women and infants and positive outcomes for midwives, yet access to these models remains limited. Caseload midwifery is associated with professional satisfaction and lower burnout, but also impacts on work-life boundaries. Few studies have explored caseload midwifery from the perspective of midwives working in caseload models compared to those in standard care models, understanding this is critical to sustainability and upscaling.

Aim
To compare views of caseload midwifery – those working in caseload models and those in standard care models in hospitals with and without caseload.

Methods
A national cross-sectional survey of midwives working in Australian public hospitals providing birthing services.

Findings
Responses were received from 542/3850 (14%) midwives from 111 hospitals – 20% worked in caseload, 39% worked in hospitals with caseload but did not work in the model, and 41% worked in hospitals without caseload. Regardless of exposure, midwives expressed support for caseload models, and for increased access to all women regardless of risk. Fifty percent of midwives not working in caseload expressed willingness to work in the model in the future. Flexibility, autonomy and building relationships were positive influencing factors, with on-call work the most common reason midwives did not want to work in caseload.

Conclusions
There was widespread support for and willingness to work in caseload. The findings suggest that the workforce could support increasing access to caseload models at existing and new caseload sites. Exposure to the model provides insight into understanding how the model works, which can positively or negatively influence midwives’ views.

Keywordscaseload midwifery; midwives’ views; sustainability; maternity model of care
Year2021
JournalWomen and Birth
Journal citation34 (1), pp. e47-e56
PublisherElsevier B.V.
ISSN1871-5192
Digital Object Identifier (DOI)https://doi.org/10.1016/j.wombi.2020.06.006
Scopus EID2-s2.0-85087717776
Research or scholarlyResearch
Page rangee47-e56
Publisher's version
License
All rights reserved
File Access Level
Controlled
Output statusPublished
Publication dates
Online09 Jul 2020
Publication process dates
Accepted22 Jun 2020
Deposited28 Jun 2021
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