How the past influences interprofessional collaboration between obstetricians and midwives in the Netherlands: Findings from a secondary analysis

Nadine van der Lee*, Erik W. Driessen, Fedde Scheele

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

11 Citations (Web of Science)


Collaborations between groups of professionals often have a long history, which can still influence contemporary practice. If problems in the collaboration occur, the search for effective interventions for these problems may be informed by analysing current practice as well as the historical development of the collaboration. The study focused on the collaboration between obstetricians and midwives in the Netherlands. We performed a secondary analysis of questionnaire data focusing on midwives evaluating the collaborative performance of obstetricians in the Netherlands. Template analysis was used to analyse the questionnaires. The initial template was based on a model for interprofessional collaboration. As a final step, we reflected on the results in light of the historical development of the collaboration. The midwives experienced a power imbalance and a lack of trust and mutual acquaintanceship in their collaboration with obstetricians. They also reported a need for interprofessional governance and formalization. Most of these reported problems in the collaboration have their origin in the historical development of both professions and in the development of the collaboration between both professional groups. Combining an exploration of contemporary interprofessional practice with a historical perspective on interprofessional collaboration is fruitful for understanding problems in collaboration between professional groups, and provides guidance for improving collaboration.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)71-76
JournalJournal of Interprofessional Care
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2 Jan 2016


  • Interprofessional collaboration
  • interprofessional teamwork
  • maternity care
  • midwives
  • obstetrics
  • questionnaires
  • secondary analysis

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