Causal links behind why Australian midwifery care is missed

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Aims: The aim of this study is to reliably estimate why midwifery care is missed and to crystallize those factors that have causal links to it.

Background: Studies involving the incidences and types of missed midwifery care are sparsely described. The rationales behind these deficits in care are even less well researched.

Methods: A non-experimental, descriptive method using a Likert developed MISSCARE scale was used to measure consensus estimates made by Australian midwives. Data analysis was undertaken using both Rasch analysis and Structural Equation Modeling.

Results: Midwives' rationales behind why Australian midwifery care is missed can be quantified based on consensus estimates of participating midwives and the variances in the total scores of how important each contributing factor was in accounting for why midwifery care was missed, can be both explained and predicted.

Conclusions: Ten latent variables have significant predictor effects on why midwifery care was missed. These include insufficient human and physical care resources, increased work intensity and issues with workplace communication. These factors are further exacerbated by the midwives' teamwork satisfaction levels, work roster preferences and other midwife demographic variables. The age of midwife, their highest qualification achieved and where they obtained their midwifery credentials had no influence on their consensus estimates as to why midwifery care was missed.

Implications for nursing management: While this study confines itself to the Australian midwifery context, outcomes are informative for an international midwifery management audience. While the setting of the midwifery practice (be it private or public hospitals) is not significant in predicting why midwifery care is missed, resource allocation for care of mothers and their babies remains instrumental, as a factor contributing to care omissions. Midwife demographic factors including age, type of midwifery qualification and where the credentials were obtained from exerted no influence as to why care was omitted. Midwifery recruitment should focus instead on re-dressing skills and skills mix shortages. Teamwork skills within the midwifery sector requires strengthening, as problems arising from workplace communication, coupled with decreased midwifery staffing numbers and increased work intensity, are strongly thought to be significant reason for missed care
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)4578-4586
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Nursing Management
Issue number8
Early online date6 Nov 2022
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2022


  • case management
  • evidence-based practice


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