Research Output

A systematic integrative review of the literature on midwives and student midwives engaged in problematic substance use

  Objective
The objective of this systematic integrative review was to review the literature in relation to problematic substance use (PSU) in midwifery populations. Associated aims were to aggregate existing knowledge about midwives and student midwives’ personal engagement in PSU, to generate a holistic conceptualisation and synthesis of the existing literature regarding midwives and student midwives personally engaged in PSU and to present new understandings and perspectives to inform the development of future research questions. This review is the first of its kind.

Design
Systematic searches were conducted in CINAHL, Academic Search Complete, MEDLINE, PSYCInfo, Scopus and the Cochrane Library. Findings were grouped into themes and subthemes relating to both midwives and student midwives and then analysed critically in relation to the wider literature. A quality assessment was conducted using the Mixed Methods Appraisal Tool (MMAT). The PRISMA statement was used to guide reporting.

Setting
Included studies were conducted in Scotland, Ireland, Australia and New Zealand.

Participants
Studies included a total of 6,182 participants.

Findings
A total of 3 studies were included. All included study types comprised quantitative survey designs, yet one also included a mixed methods design with the use of semi structured interviews. Two overarching themes emerged relating to both midwives and student midwives engaged in problematic substance use. For midwives, three subthemes are described: harmful daily alcohol consumption, working hours and harmful daily alcohol consumption and features associated with harmful daily alcohol consumption. For student midwives, two subthemes are presented: escape avoidance and alcohol, tobacco and cannabis use.

Key conclusions
There is limited evidence available in relation to problematic substance use in midwifery populations in comparison to that available for other healthcare populations. Further research is required, and could usefully focus upon midwives and student midwives as distinct professions to be separated out from the wider healthcare workforce.

Implications for practice
Problematic substance use among the healthcare workforce is associated with an increase in medical errors and inadequate care. Those affected can be reluctant to seek help, experience psychological distress and even contemplate suicide. Whilst evidence remains lacking for midwifery populations, they form a part of the general healthcare workforce and are exposed to similar workplace stressors. As such, it is likely that they too would be affected in similar ways.

  • Type:

    Article

  • Date:

    15 June 2020

  • Publication Status:

    Published

  • Publisher

    Elsevier BV

  • DOI:

    10.1016/j.midw.2020.102785

  • Cross Ref:

    10.1016/j.midw.2020.102785

  • ISSN:

    0266-6138

  • Funders:

    Edinburgh Napier Funded

Citation

Pezaro, S., Patterson, J., Moncrieff, G., & Ghai, I. (2020). A systematic integrative review of the literature on midwives and student midwives engaged in problematic substance use. Midwifery, 89, https://doi.org/10.1016/j.midw.2020.102785

Authors

Keywords

Impairment, Health professional, Workplace stress, Midwives, Substance use: alcohol, Integrative review, Psychological distress

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