Qualitative evaluation of an innovative midwifery continuity scheme: Lessons from using a quality care framework

Andrew Symon (Lead / Corresponding author), Shona Shinwell

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    2 Citations (Scopus)
    116 Downloads (Pure)


    Introduction: Innovative midwifery schemes must be robustly evaluated to establish whether they should be modified or can be replicated. Assessing quality of care can help to ascertain a scheme's acceptability and effectiveness. We used an established quality care framework as a benchmark in our qualitative evaluation of a combined continuity of caregiver and planned home birth scheme in Scotland.

    Methods: Qualitative evaluation of stakeholder perceptions using the Quality Maternal and Newborn Care Framework was the basis for six focus groups and two one‐to‐one interviews with stakeholders (new mothers, partners, midwives). A thematic analytical approach was used.

    Results: The qualitative evaluation found universal approval among participants. Flexible working patterns helped to nurture positive relationships, and information and support were highly valued. The principal themes—Organization of Care/Work Culture; Information and Support; Relationships—were strongly inter‐related. They shared several subthemes, notably continuity of caregiver, flexible family‐centered care, and the benefits of being at home. Flexibility and mutual respect helped women to express autonomy and develop agency. Women related their birth experiences to friends, family, and colleagues, thereby helping to normalize home birth.

    Conclusions: This qualitative evaluation of an innovative scheme used an established quality framework as a benchmark against which to assess stakeholder experiences. This approach helped to identify the critical codependence of factors involved in care delivery, which in turn helps to identify lessons for others considering similar schemes. Although our evaluation relates to one specific scheme, identifying the scheme's critical quality care aspects may assist others when planning similar schemes.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)378-388
    Number of pages11
    Issue number4
    Early online date1 Dec 2020
    Publication statusPublished - Dec 2020


    • communication
    • continuity of caregiver
    • midwifery
    • quality care
    • relationships

    ASJC Scopus subject areas

    • Obstetrics and Gynaecology


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