Achieving Consensus for the Design and Delivery of an Online Intervention to Support Midwives in Work-Related Psychological Distress: Results From a Delphi Study

Sally Pezaro, Wendy Clyne

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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Abstract

Background: Some midwives are known to experience both professional and organizational sources of psychological distress, which can manifest as a result of the emotionally demanding midwifery work, and the traumatic work environments they endure. An online intervention may be one option midwives may engage with in pursuit of effective support. However, the priorities for the development of an online intervention to effectively support midwives in work-related psychological distress have yet to be explored. Objective: The aim of this study was to explore priorities in the development of an online intervention to support midwives in work-related psychological distress. Methods: A two-round online Delphi study was conducted. This study invited both qualitative and quantitative data from experts recruited via a scoping literature search and social media channels. Results: In total, 185 experts were invited to participate in this Delphi study. Of all participants invited to contribute, 35.7% (66/185) completed Round 1 and of those who participated in this first round, 67% (44/66) continued to complete Round 2. Out of 39 questions posed over two rounds, 18 statements (46%) achieved consensus, 21 (54%) did not. Participants were given the opportunity to write any additional comments as free text. In total, 1604 free text responses were collected and categorized into 2446 separate statements of opinion, creating a total of 442 themes. Overall, participants agreed that in order to effectively support midwives in work-related psychological distress, online interventions should make confidentiality and anonymity a high priority, along with 24-hour mobile access, effective moderation, an online discussion forum, and additional legal, educational, and therapeutic components. It was also agreed that midwives should be offered a simple user assessment to identify those people deemed to be at risk of either causing harm to others or experiencing harm themselves, and direct them to appropriate support. Conclusions: This study has identified priorities for the development of online interventions to effectively support midwives in work-related psychological distress. The impact of any future intervention of this type will be optimized by utilizing these findings in the development process.
Original languageEnglish
Article numbere32
JournalJMIR Mental Health
Volume3
Issue number3
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 12 Jul 2016

Bibliographical note

The full text is also available from: http://dx.doi.org/10.2196/mental.5617
This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License
(http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work, first published in JMIR Mental Health, is properly cited. The complete bibliographic information, a link to the original publication on http://mental.jmir.org/, as well as this copyright and license information must be included.

Keywords

  • Delphi technique
  • Internet
  • intervention studies
  • midwifery
  • psychological
  • health workforce
  • self-help groups
  • stress

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