Screening in the Childbearing Year: Midwives’ Scientific Knowledge and Its Use in Decision Making

D.Ann Noseworthy, BSc, BN, RN, RM, MA (Applied) Midwifery Marion Cooper, RGON, RM, MPhil (Midwifery)

ABSTRACT
The objective of the study was to explore New Zealand midwives' perception of their knowledge of genetics and embryology and its application to their practice. The study design was based on a self-completed postal questionnaire using convenience sampling. The questionnaire was sent to independent midwifery practices and Maternity units in New Zealand, specifically focused on currently practising Registered Midwives. The degree of perceived knowledge varied between practitioners, as does its use in practice to discuss issues with women. The majority of midwives indicated that they did not have enough knowledge specifically in genetics to discuss those issues. Most midwives gained their knowledge through formal and informal methods. The study concluded that midwives need to have available, professional development opportunities in the area of genetics and embryology in order to effectively facilitate informed choice when offering the various tests and treatments during the childbearing year.

KEYWORDS
Embryology, genetics, informed decisions, midwifery practice.

This article has been peer-reviewed.

 

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