Midwifery Research Collaboration Study

This study originated in the Scottish Government’s understanding of the need to safeguard and support midwifery research capacity in Scotland, and the importance of ensuring that maternity care is evidence informed. In a bid to provide and develop strategic midwifery research leadership and to contribute to informing practice through outputs that would support Research Excellence Framework (REF) submissions from Scottish universities, the Chief Nurse’s Office agreed to fund a research programme which addressed topics of importance to the Scottish Government.

Entitled ‘The Scottish National Midwifery Research Programme: supporting and informing Scottish maternity care policy’ this programme covered three separate projects, each of which received £80,000, to be administered to the relevant institutions through the Nursing Midwifery and Allied Health Professions Research Unit (NMAHP-RU) in Stirling. The projects were to be led by Helen Cheyne (University of Stirling), Tracy Humphrey (Robert Gordon University) and Andrew Symon (University of Dundee). Other members of the Scottish Midwifery Advancing Research Together (SMART) group could be co-opted to encourage collaboration and grow research leadership.

This report concerns Andrew Symon’s two-pronged study which set out to:

  1. identify in two sites in the west and east of Scotland the prevalence and patterns of excessive alcohol consumption around the time of conception and in the second trimester of pregnancy; and
  2. carry out a detailed literature review of antenatal care models.

The second aim was added to the original Project Initiation Document (PID) in December 2013, partly because of logistical difficulties which necessitated a scaling back of the projected size of the alcohol focus study. The two aims, while related because they both refer to how antenatal care (or a part of it) is carried out, relate to discrete studies, but both contribute to the aims and objectives of the CNO’s proposed programme.