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Reports of work-related traumatic events: a mixed-methods study

Fontein-Kuipers, Yvonne; Duivis, Hester; Schamper, Verena; Schmitz, Veerle; Stam, Anouk; Koster, Diana

Authors

Hester Duivis

Verena Schamper

Veerle Schmitz

Anouk Stam

Diana Koster



Abstract

INTRODUCTION There is limited evidence of the effect and impact on midwives of being involved or witnessing traumatic work-related events. We categorised midwives’ selfreported traumatic work-related events and responses to an event and explored the impact on the midwives’ professional and personal life.

METHODS A sequential explanatory mixed-methods study, consisting of a questionnaire and semi-structured interviews for midwives who practised or who had practised in the Netherlands or Flanders.

RESULTS In total, 106 questionnaires were completed. We categorised various workrelated traumatic events: witnessing birth trauma/complications (34%), death (28.3%), (mis)management of care (19.8%), events related to the perceived social norm of maternity services’ practitioners (9.5%), events related to environmental and contextual issues (5.6%) and to (mis)communication (2.8%). Sharing the experience with colleagues, family and friends, a supervisor or the woman involved in the event, was the most common response. In all, 74.5% of the participants still experienced the influence of work-related events in day-to-day practice and 37.5% still experienced the effects in their personal life. The scores of three participants (3.2%) indicated the likelihood of post-traumatic stress. Twenty-four interviews were conducted. Four themes emerged from the content analysis: 1) Timeline, 2) Drawing up the balance of relations with others, 3) Fretting and worrying, and 4) Lessons learned.

CONCLUSIONS Various work-related traumatic events can impact on midwives’ professional and/or personal life. Although not all midwives reported experiencing (lasting) effects of the events, the impact was sometimes far-reaching. Therefore, midwives’ experiences and impact of work-related traumatic events cannot be ignored in midwifery practice, education and in supervision or mentoring.

Journal Article Type Article
Conference Name CARE 4
Acceptance Date Dec 9, 2018
Online Publication Date Dec 31, 2018
Publication Date 2018-12
Deposit Date Feb 21, 2022
Publicly Available Date Feb 21, 2022
Journal European Journal of Midwifery
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 2
DOI https://doi.org/10.18332/ejm/100611
Keywords midwifery, mixed-methods study, second victim, secondary traumatic stress, work-related traumatic event
Public URL http://researchrepository.napier.ac.uk/Output/2846952

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