Development of a tool to identify barriers and enablers to practice innovation in midwifery: A participatory action research study


Transferring research evidence into midwifery practice is fraught with challenges and obstacles. Implementation tools can streamline the process and are most effective when they are discipline-specific; however, there are currently no midwifery specific implementation tools. The aim of this study was to develop a midwifery specific tool to identify barriers and enablers to evidence-informed practice change within the clinical setting.

Participatory action research methodology was employed to ensure potential end-users contributed to content and format of the tool. Purposeful sampling ensured participants were selected from a range of midwifery practice settings in Western Australia and the United Kingdom. Data were collected through stakeholder advisory groups (SAGs) and online surveys.

Ten midwives participated in this project. Consultation occurred through face-to-face SAG meetings and online surveys until consensus was reached among participants about the content, format, and functionality of the end product which we called the ‘Midwifery Tool for Change’ (MT4C).

To our knowledge, the MT4C is the first readiness for change context assessment tool specific to midwifery practice settings. Evaluation of the MT4C in realworld practice change implementation initiatives will enable further refinement of the tool.


Midwifery ethics, Quality health care services, Professional leadership, Midwifery care

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