Friday, November 30, 2007

Midwifery research in New Zealand

Tonight I gave a very short presentation about midwifery research in New Zealand at an online midwifery meeting that I organized.

I would say that midwifery research is in its infancy in New Zealand. There have been a number of fabulous small projects going on, many of them as a result of postgraduate education programs at Masters and PhD level. The research at PhD level, to my knowledge, covers fetal monitoring in labour, mentoring, e-mentoring and rural midwifery. I am sure there is more going on, but I am just not aware of it.

The New Zealand College of Midwives developed the Joan Donley Research Collaboration a few years ago. At the moment it facilitates a bi-annual research forum and provides small postgraduate grants, but has the long term aim of being the focus point of midwifery research in New Zealand.

Nevertheless, we have a number of challenges to face, not least that we are a very small profession and funding is very difficult to come by. Major funding from the New Zealand Health Research Council tends to go to medical projects. The majority of midwifery researchers are 'new' researchers and still building a research history.

So I personally see the way forward is through collaboration, not just within New Zealand but overseas. As a new researchers, I think it is prudent for us to become involved in team research so that we can develop research platforms and histories.

I'd love to hear from you if you are a midwifery researcher or researching topics of interest to midwives, whether you are based in New Zealand or overseas. How do you feel about my summary of midwifery research in New Zealand? What do you see as the future for midwifery research globally? How can we strengthen midwifery research? Any personal tips for me as a 'new' researcher?

Here is my slide show on Slideshare.
Here is a recording of my presentation and the short discussion that followed.

Image: 'Midwife taking stock'

No comments: