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Using visual images and interactive workshops to engage with maternity staff - Changing hearts and minds?

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  • UserProf. Jane Sandall (Florence Nightingale School of Nursing and Midwifery, King’s College, London)
  • ClockMonday 24 November 2008, 17:00-18:30
  • HouseCRASSH, Seminar Room.

If you have a question about this talk, please contact Zeynep Gurtin-Broadbent.

In Western societies we live in an era where visual images play an important role in influencing our views of key life events. From early childhood we see media images of women in labour that reinforce the notion of women giving birth in hospital on a bed and that childbirth is a risky enterprise. Yet current maternity policy in England has a concern with unnecessary intervention in pregnancy and childbirth and states that medical interventions are recommended only when they are of benefit to the woman and/or her baby and that women should have an informed choice regarding place and type of birth., Furthermore, policy suggests that midwives and doctors improve their skills and confidence in supporting women to have a ‘natural’ and ‘normal birth’ (Department of Health, 2007).

This presentation draws on ongoing research commissioned to model, develop and field test an education package for maternity staff to increase their confidence and competence in supporting women and their birth partners to have a positive labour and birth without unnecessary intervention. The learning package for midwifery and medical students and NHS maternity staff includes interactive, multidisciplinary workshops; using researcher generated video clips, and photographs. Data generated to inform the research includes focus groups with women and interviews with women and partners, maternity staff, national opinion leaders and interactions with pregnant and labouring women, most of which have either been videoed or audio-taped. A Cochrane review suggests that interactive workshops are potentially one of the most effective methods to achieve moderately large changes in professional practice, and recommends that future research should include qualitative process evaluations to help clarify how specific attributes of workshops might contribute to effects on professional practice. This presentation will provide an example of some of the video material used and discuss these issues in relation to the use of visual image and attempts to influence professional behaviour change.

This talk is part of the Cambridge Interdisciplinary Reproduction Forum series.

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