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Self-reported exposure to severe events on the labour ward among Swedish midwives and obstetricians : A cross-sectional retrospective study

Wahlberg, Åsa LU ; Andreen Sachs, Magna; Bergh Johannesson, Kerstin; Hallberg, Gunilla; Jonsson, Jenny Maria; Skoog Svanberg, Agneta and Högberg, Ulf (2017) In International Journal of Nursing Studies 65. p.8-16
Abstract

Background The process of delivery entails potentially traumatic events in which the mother or child becomes injured or dies. Midwives and obstetricians are sometimes responsible for these events and can be negatively affected by them as well as by the resulting investigation or complaints procedure (clinical negligence). Objective To assess the self-reported exposure rate of severe events among midwives and obstetricians on the delivery ward and the cumulative risk by professional years and subsequent investigations and complaints. Design Cross-sectional survey. Participants Members of the Swedish Association of Midwives (SFB) and the Swedish Society of Obstetrics and Gynaecology (SFOG). Methods A questionnaire covering demographic... (More)

Background The process of delivery entails potentially traumatic events in which the mother or child becomes injured or dies. Midwives and obstetricians are sometimes responsible for these events and can be negatively affected by them as well as by the resulting investigation or complaints procedure (clinical negligence). Objective To assess the self-reported exposure rate of severe events among midwives and obstetricians on the delivery ward and the cumulative risk by professional years and subsequent investigations and complaints. Design Cross-sectional survey. Participants Members of the Swedish Association of Midwives (SFB) and the Swedish Society of Obstetrics and Gynaecology (SFOG). Methods A questionnaire covering demographic characteristics, experiences of self-reported severe events on the delivery ward, and complaints of medical negligence was developed. Potential consequences of the complaint was not reported. A severe event was defined as: 1) the death of an infant due to delivery-related causes during childbirth or while on the neonatal ward; 2) an infant being severely asphyxiated or injured at delivery; 3) maternal death; 4) very severe or life threatening maternal morbidity; or 5) other stressful events during delivery, such as exposure to violence or aggression. Results The response rate was 39.9% (n = 1459) for midwives and 47.1% (n = 706) for obstetricians. Eighty-four percent of the obstetricians and almost 71% of responding midwives had experienced one or more self-reported severe obstetric event with detrimental consequences for the woman or the new-born. Fourteen percent of the midwives and 22.4% of the obstetricians had faced complaints of medical negligence from the patient or the family of the patient. Conclusions A considerable proportion of midwives and obstetricians will, in the course of their working life, experience severe obstetric events in which the mother or the new-born is injured or dies. Preparedness for such exposure should be part of the training, as should managerial and peer support for those in need. This could prevent serious consequences for the health care professionals involved and their subsequent careers.

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author
publishing date
type
Contribution to journal
publication status
published
subject
keywords
Event, Midwives, Obstetricians, Occupational exposure, Traumatic
in
International Journal of Nursing Studies
volume
65
pages
9 pages
publisher
Elsevier
external identifiers
  • scopus:84994259518
ISSN
0020-7489
DOI
10.1016/j.ijnurstu.2016.10.009
language
English
LU publication?
no
id
87fb79a9-128a-4e23-a96c-afa195089cff
date added to LUP
2017-03-23 08:50:27
date last changed
2018-01-07 11:56:47
@article{87fb79a9-128a-4e23-a96c-afa195089cff,
  abstract     = {<p>Background The process of delivery entails potentially traumatic events in which the mother or child becomes injured or dies. Midwives and obstetricians are sometimes responsible for these events and can be negatively affected by them as well as by the resulting investigation or complaints procedure (clinical negligence). Objective To assess the self-reported exposure rate of severe events among midwives and obstetricians on the delivery ward and the cumulative risk by professional years and subsequent investigations and complaints. Design Cross-sectional survey. Participants Members of the Swedish Association of Midwives (SFB) and the Swedish Society of Obstetrics and Gynaecology (SFOG). Methods A questionnaire covering demographic characteristics, experiences of self-reported severe events on the delivery ward, and complaints of medical negligence was developed. Potential consequences of the complaint was not reported. A severe event was defined as: 1) the death of an infant due to delivery-related causes during childbirth or while on the neonatal ward; 2) an infant being severely asphyxiated or injured at delivery; 3) maternal death; 4) very severe or life threatening maternal morbidity; or 5) other stressful events during delivery, such as exposure to violence or aggression. Results The response rate was 39.9% (n = 1459) for midwives and 47.1% (n = 706) for obstetricians. Eighty-four percent of the obstetricians and almost 71% of responding midwives had experienced one or more self-reported severe obstetric event with detrimental consequences for the woman or the new-born. Fourteen percent of the midwives and 22.4% of the obstetricians had faced complaints of medical negligence from the patient or the family of the patient. Conclusions A considerable proportion of midwives and obstetricians will, in the course of their working life, experience severe obstetric events in which the mother or the new-born is injured or dies. Preparedness for such exposure should be part of the training, as should managerial and peer support for those in need. This could prevent serious consequences for the health care professionals involved and their subsequent careers.</p>},
  author       = {Wahlberg, Åsa and Andreen Sachs, Magna and Bergh Johannesson, Kerstin and Hallberg, Gunilla and Jonsson, Jenny Maria and Skoog Svanberg, Agneta and Högberg, Ulf},
  issn         = {0020-7489},
  keyword      = {Event,Midwives,Obstetricians,Occupational exposure,Traumatic},
  language     = {eng},
  month        = {01},
  pages        = {8--16},
  publisher    = {Elsevier},
  series       = {International Journal of Nursing Studies},
  title        = {Self-reported exposure to severe events on the labour ward among Swedish midwives and obstetricians : A cross-sectional retrospective study},
  url          = {http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.ijnurstu.2016.10.009},
  volume       = {65},
  year         = {2017},
}