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Proactive behaviour in midwifery practice: A qualitative overview based on midwives’ perspectives

Mestdagh, Eveline; Timmermans, Olaf; Fontein-Kuipers, Yvonne; Van Rompaey, Bart


Eveline Mestdagh

Olaf Timmermans

Bart Van Rompaey


Background: Midwifery practice is in the process of continuing developments and contemporary working conditions asking for proactive behaviour, which could increase work-efficiency, job satisfaction, commitment and coping attitudes towards stress resistance. This study aims to provide an in depth exploration of midwives’ perceptions of facilitators and/or barriers of proactive behaviour in midwifery practice.

Methods: A qualitative descriptive study, using individual semi-structured interviews, was undertaken within a sample of 102 Flemish and Dutch midwives who were interviewed from September to December 2017 using a four-item topic-list.

Results: Six influencing factors emerged from the data consisted of the causal, contextual and conditional factors faced by the midwives in order to show proactive behaviour in midwifery practice. Midwives elaborated the need for team consultations, a safe organizational culture, an appreciative midwifery leader and an attitude of lifelong learning. Furthermore, midwives are looking for a way to deal with both challenges in healthcare and the competitive societal system.

Conclusion: This inductive study confirmed, supported and expanded previous deductive research and provided additional insights of proactive behaviour in midwifery. Providing midwives with knowledge of the influencing factors, required to successfully effecting proactive behaviour in midwifery, this study has subsequently merit for future research in the transfer of recommendation in daily midwifery practice, education and policymaking.

Journal Article Type Article
Acceptance Date Apr 1, 2019
Online Publication Date Apr 2, 2019
Publication Date 2019-06
Deposit Date Jan 10, 2022
Journal Sexual & Reproductive Healthcare
Print ISSN 1877-5756
Publisher Elsevier
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 20
Pages 87-92
Keywords Proactive behaviour in midwifery practice; Qualitative descriptive design; Team consultations; Appreciative leadership; Safe organizational culture
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