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Factors associated with midwives’ job satisfaction and experience of work: a cross-sectional survey of midwives in a tertiary maternity hospital in Melbourne, Australia

  • Robyn Matthews
    Correspondence
    Corresponding author at: Midwifery and Maternity Services Research Unit, The Royal Women’s Hospital, Locked Bag 300, Cnr Grattan St and Flemington Rd, Parkville, VIC 3052, Australia.
    Affiliations
    Judith Lumley Centre, La Trobe University, Bundoora, VIC 3086, Australia

    The Royal Women’s Hospital, Locked Bag 300, Cnr Grattan St and Flemington Rd, Parkville, VIC 3052, Australia
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  • Rebecca Hyde
    Affiliations
    Judith Lumley Centre, La Trobe University, Bundoora, VIC 3086, Australia

    School of Nursing & Midwifery, La Trobe University, Bundoora, VIC 3086, Australia

    The Royal Women’s Hospital, Locked Bag 300, Cnr Grattan St and Flemington Rd, Parkville, VIC 3052, Australia
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  • Fleur Llewelyn
    Affiliations
    The Royal Women’s Hospital, Locked Bag 300, Cnr Grattan St and Flemington Rd, Parkville, VIC 3052, Australia
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  • Touran Shafiei
    Affiliations
    Judith Lumley Centre, La Trobe University, Bundoora, VIC 3086, Australia
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  • Michelle Newton
    Affiliations
    Judith Lumley Centre, La Trobe University, Bundoora, VIC 3086, Australia

    School of Nursing & Midwifery, La Trobe University, Bundoora, VIC 3086, Australia
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  • Della A. Forster
    Affiliations
    Judith Lumley Centre, La Trobe University, Bundoora, VIC 3086, Australia

    The Royal Women’s Hospital, Locked Bag 300, Cnr Grattan St and Flemington Rd, Parkville, VIC 3052, Australia
    Search for articles by this author

      Abstract

      Background

      Significant factors affecting the Australian maternity care context include an ageing, predominantly part-time midwifery workforce, increasingly medicalised maternity care, and women with more complex health/social needs. This results in challenges for the maternity care system. There is a lack of understanding of midwives’ experiences and job satisfaction in this context.

      Aim

      To explore factors affecting Australian midwives’ job satisfaction and experience of work.

      Methods

      In 2017 an online cross-sectional questionnaire was used to survey midwives employed in a tertiary hospital. Data collected included characteristics, work roles, hours, midwives’ views and experiences of their job. The Midwifery Process Questionnaire was used to measure midwives’ satisfaction in four domains: Professional Satisfaction, Professional Support, Client Interaction and Professional Development. Data were analysed as a whole, then univariate and multivariate logistic regression analyses conducted to explore any associations between each domain, participant characteristics and other relevant factors.

      Findings

      The overall survey response rate was 73% (302/411), with 96% (255/266) of permanently employed midwives responding. About half (53%) had a negative attitude about their Professional Support and Client Interaction (49%), and 21% felt negatively about Professional Development. The majority felt positively regarding Professional Satisfaction (85%). The main factors that impacted midwives’ satisfaction was inadequate acknowledgment from the organisation and needing more support to fulfil their current role.

      Conclusion

      Focus on leadership and mentorship around appropriate acknowledgement and support may impact positively on midwives’ satisfaction and experiences of work. A larger study could explore how widespread these findings are in the Australian maternity care setting.

      Keywords

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