Increasing self-efficacy in student midwives for physiological childbirth: The design and development of a midwifery education initiative - the ESSENTIAL programme

Suzanne Marie Thompson

Research output: ThesisDoctoral ThesisExternal prepared

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Supporting physiological childbirth is a core midwifery competency and an important part of midwifery professional identity. Medicalized births, hierarchical relationships and routinized care are challenging for midwives. In the Integrated care model in the Netherlands, midwives will need to learn to collaborate effectively with other maternity professionals, without losing their professional identity. For this dissertation, the Rapid Prototyping methodology was used to design and develop education aimed at strengthening student self-efficacy. Focus groups provided insights into educational needs and the validated Dutch Optimality Index provided an evidence base. With midwifery stakeholders, a prototype programme was designed and implemented in the third year of the bachelor’s programme. This prototype, the ‘ESSENTIAL programme’ aimed to strengthen students’ ability to communicate the evidence powerfully and persuasively and to reflect on their own practices around childbirth. The ESSENTIAL programme shows promising results. Higher levels of self-efficacy were measured indicating that students are more effective in their role as advocates of physiological childbirth.
Original languageEnglish
Awarding Institution
  • Maastricht University
  • de Vries, R., Supervisor
  • Nieuwenhuijze, M., Co-Supervisor, External person
  • Low, Lisa Kane, Co-Supervisor, External person
Award date8 May 2020
Place of PublicationMaastricht
Print ISBNs9789463758796
Publication statusPublished - 2020


  • self-efficacy
  • student midwives
  • physiological childbirth
  • evidence-based practice
  • professional identity
  • collaboration

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