Evaluation of a student-led midwifery group practice: A woman's perspective

Virginia Stulz, Dr Rakime Elmir, Heather Reilly

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Citations (Scopus)


Background:. Objective: To evaluate women's experiences of a student-led midwifery group practice. Design: A mixed methods design was used to examine women's experiences and level of satisfaction about a student-led midwifery model of care. An on-line survey elucidated women's levels of satisfaction and experiences with the student-led midwifery group practice. The online survey was sent to all women (n = 25) who were receiving care from third year Bachelor of Midwifery students in 2018 via email up to 6 weeks postnatally. The online survey was distributed in the first instance to obtain baseline information about the importance of this student-led midwifery group practice and so the survey information was linked to the in-depth interview in the analysis for the purpose of identifying if the women were primiparous or multiparous. Women (n = 9) were invited to participate in an in-depth interview by self-opting on the survey and this extra data provided a richer understanding about the level of satisfaction about woman-centred care led by midwifery students. Retrospective data were also collected from the Maternity database - E-Maternity about birth outcomes. Setting: A tertiary teaching public hospital in New South Wales (NSW). Participants: Fifteen women participated in an online survey. Five primiparous and four multiparous women opted to be involved in the in-depth interviews on the online survey. Measurements and findings: Analysis in SPSS provided descriptive statistics including frequencies and percentages of data including birth outcomes. Simple correlations enabled associations to be established between levels of satisfaction, individualised care, quality of care, benefits and anxiety during pregnancy. The overarching themes from the qualitative findings identified the students’ presence for the women as the most important component of the women's journey. The four main themes that emerged from the study included: familiarity of the caregiver, staying informed on the journey, feeling supported and reassured by their expertise, and control and decisions over birth events. Key conclusions: For a variety of reasons, women valued the presence of the students throughout their childbearing journey, including valuing the woman's private space during labour and her time with her partner. This combination of pedagogical approaches provides an alternative to the current placement approach, which includes working shifts in all areas of maternity. This approach will better support midwifery students to achieve the skills necessary to provide a continuity of care experience (CoCE) amongst a small team by a student-led midwifery group practice that is supported by a registered midwife in the antenatal clinic. The midwifery student is able to develop a relationship with the woman as a component of the CoCE under the guidance of a registered midwife and this is an important underpinning of the philosophy of woman-centred care. Implications for practice: This model of care provides evidence that women do value the students’ support and presence throughout their experience and that the benefits of this model should be offered to all women as a normal component of their midwifery care.

Original languageEnglish
Article number102691
Pages (from-to)1-9
Number of pages9
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2020
Externally publishedYes


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