Investigating midwives' barriers and facilitators to multiple health promotion practice behaviours: a qualitative study using the theoretical domains framework



McLellan JM, O’Carroll RE, Cheyne H & Dombrowski SU (2019) Investigating midwives' barriers and facilitators to multiple health promotion practice behaviours: a qualitative study using the theoretical domains framework. Implementation Science, 14 (1), Art. No.: 64.

Background In addition to their more traditional clinical role, midwives are expected to perform various health promotion practice behaviours (HePPBes) such as informing pregnant women about the benefits of physical activity during pregnancy and asking women about their alcohol consumption. There is evidence to suggest several barriers exist to performing HePPBes. The aim of the study was to investigate the barriers and facilitators midwives perceive to undertaking HePPBes. Methods The research compromised of two studies. Study 1: midwives based in a community setting (N = 11) took part in semi-structured interviews underpinned by the theoretical domains framework (TDF). Interviews were analysed using a direct content analysis approach to identify important barriers or facilitators to undertaking HePPBes. Study 2: midwives (N = 505) completed an online questionnaire assessing views on their HePPBes including free text responses (n = 61) which were coded into TDF domains. Study 2 confirmed and supplemented the barriers and facilitators identified in study 1. Results Midwives’ perceived a multitude of barriers and facilitators to carrying out HePPBes. Key barriers were requirements to perform an increasing amount of HePPBes on top of existing clinical work load, midwives’ cognitive resources, the quality of relationships with pregnant women, a lack of continuity of care and difficulty accessing appropriate training. Key facilitators included midwives’ motivation to support pregnant women to address their health. Study 1 highlighted strategies that midwives use to overcome the barriers they face in carrying out their HePPBes. Conclusions Despite high levels of motivation to carry out their health promotion practice, midwives perceive numerous barriers to carrying out these tasks in a timely and effective manner. Interventions that support midwives by addressing key barriers and facilitators to help pregnant women address their health behaviours are urgently needed.

Midwives; Health promotion; Multiple health behaviours; Theoretical domains framework

Implementation Science: Volume 14, Issue 1

FundersCSO Chief Scientist Office
Publication date18/06/2019
Publication date online18/06/2019
Date accepted by journal03/06/2019
PublisherSpringer Science and Business Media LLC

People (4)


Professor Helen Cheyne
Professor Helen Cheyne

Personal Chair, NMAHP

Dr Stephan Dombrowski
Dr Stephan Dombrowski

Honorary Senior Research Fellow, Psychology

Miss Julie McLellan
Miss Julie McLellan

PhD Researcher, Psychology

Professor Ronan O'Carroll
Professor Ronan O'Carroll

Professor, Psychology

Projects (1)