Thursday, August 24, 2006

Midwifery research: Do midwives respect the work of other midwives?

This article surprised me. Evidently, midwives are suspicious of research done by midwives.

Many midwives have an ambivalent relationship with research. The tend to cite it when it confirms their beliefs about midwifery, but when it comes to papers that disprove cherished beliefs, they either discount it or are unaware of it. This ambivalence appears to extend to research by midwives themselves. According to this study, when midwives were told that a scientific paper was written by a midwife, they found the authors' grasp of research methodology, understanding of statistical analysis and contribution to current understanding as being deficient. Yet if they were told that the exact same papers were written by doctors, midwives graded the authors as having a better grasp of research methodology, statistical analysis and making a greater contribution to current understanding.

Research in midwifery: are midwives their own worst enemies?

Hicks C., Midwifery. 1992 Mar;8(1):12-8.

This study investigated the hypothesis that midwives will undervalue research they believed to have been undertaken by a midwife as compared with that believed to have been undertaken by an obstetrician. Eighteen midwives were asked to assess two comparable research articles on 5 criteria. Half the sample were informed that the first article was written by a midwife and the second by an obstetrician. The order of authorship was reversed for the remainder of the sample. A related t-test was carried out to compare the midwife's paper with the obstetrician's on each of the 5 criteria. These suggested that no difference was perceived between the midwife's and obstetrician's clarity of expression or expertise on the topic in question, but significant differences were found on attributed grasp of research methodology, understanding of statistical analysis and contribution to current understanding, with the midwife emerging worse on all three ... Comparison of the overall scores also revealed that the general quality of the midwife's paper was also perceived to be poorer than the obstetrician's...


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