Clinical outcomes for women who had continuity of care experiences with midwifery students

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Tickle, Nikki
Gamble, Jenny
Creedy, Debra K
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BACKGROUND: Pre-registration midwifery students in Australia are required to engage in a minimum of ten continuity of care experiences (CoCE). Students recruit and gain consent of each woman to provide CoCE under direct supervision of a registered health professional, usually a midwife. Clinical outcomes for women who had CoCE with a midwifery student placed in a continuity of midwifery care (CMC) or fragmented models are rarely reported. AIMS: 1. analyse clinical outcomes for women experiencing CMC with CoCE by students; 2. analyse clinical outcomes for women in a fragmented care model with CoCE by students; and 3. compare clinical outcomes according to women's primary model of care. METHODS: Students undertaking a Bachelor of Midwifery program at one Australian university recorded clinical outcomes for women experiencing CoCE during pregnancy [n=5972] and labour and birth [n=3933] in an e-portfolio. A retrospective, cohort design compared student recorded maternal data with National Core Maternity Indicators and Queensland Perinatal Data. RESULTS: Midwifery students providing CoCE reported better or equal clinical outcomes for women compared to population data. Women receiving CoCE had reduced likelihood of tobacco smoking after 20 weeks of pregnancy, episiotomy, and third and fourth degree tears. CONCLUSIONS: Clinical outcomes for women in fragmented models of care and receiving CoCE by undergraduate, pre-registration midwifery students are equal to or better than State data across 12 variables. CoCE should be offered to all women early in their pregnancy to ensure optimal benefits. Acknowledging midwifery students' potential to make positive impacts on women's clinical outcomes may prompt more health services to reconceptualise and foster CoCE.

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Women Birth

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This publication has been entered as an advanced online version in Griffith Research Online.

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Biomedical and clinical sciences

Reproductive medicine


Clinical outcomes

Clinical placement

Continuity of midwifery care

Midwifery education research


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Tickle, N; Gamble, J; Creedy, DK, Clinical outcomes for women who had continuity of care experiences with midwifery students, Women Birth, 2021