Achieving Consensus in the Development of an Online Intervention Designed to Effectively Support Midwives in Work-Related Psychological Distress: Protocol for a Delphi Study

Sally Pezaro, Wendy Clyne

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Background: The development of an online intervention designed to effectively support midwives in work-related psychological distress will be challenging due to the ethical, practical, and therapeutic issues surrounding its design. Related literature suggests that midwives may require an anonymous, confidential, and therapeutic platform that facilitates amnesty and nonpunitive approaches to remedy ill health. However, it is unclear which requirements may be most salient to midwifery populations. Objective: The objective of this paper is to describe the design of a Delphi study, intended to achieve expert consensus on the needs of midwives in work-related psychological distress who may be supported via an online intervention. This protocol may also serve as a research framework for similar studies to be modeled upon. Methods: A heterogeneous sample of at least thirty experts on psychological well-being and distress associated with midwifery work will be recruited. Their opinions regarding the development of an online intervention designed to support midwives in work-related psychological distress will be collected through 2 rounds of questioning, via the Delphi Technique. When 60% (≥18, assuming the minimum is 30) of panelists score within 2 adjacent points on a 7-point scale, consensus will be acknowledged. This Delphi study protocol will invite both qualitative and quantitative outcomes. Results: This study is currently in development. It is financially supported by a full-time scholarship at the Centre for Technology Enabled Health Research at Coventry University (Coventry, UK). The implementation of this Delphi study is anticipated to occur during the autumn of 2015. Conclusions: The results of this study will direct the development of an online intervention designed to support midwives in work-related psychological distress, summarize expert driven consensus, and direct future research.
Original languageEnglish
JournalJMIR Research Protocols
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 4 Sep 2015


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This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work, first published in JMIR Research Protocols, is properly cited. The complete bibliographic information, a link to the original publication on, as well as this copyright and license information must be included.


  • Delphi technique
  • Internet
  • intervention studies
  • midwifery
  • psychological
  • research protocols
  • self-help groups
  • stress

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