’The book consists of an eclectic collection of research studies undertaken as part of the European COST Action, which involved 100 members from 26 countries.’
Title: New Thinking on Improving Maternity Care
Edited by: Sarah Church et al
Publisher: Pinter & Martin Publishers
Reviewer: Dr Pádraig Ó Lúanaigh, Deputy Director of Nursing – Norfolk and Norwich University Hospitals NHS Trust
What was it like?
This textbook promises evidenced based material and international research from a range of contributors to improve maternity care. In reality, the book consists of an eclectic collection of research studies undertaken as part of the European COST Action, which involved 100 members from 26 countries. The backdrop to the content is informed by the increasing and current risk adverse approach towards pregnancy and birth.
What were the highlights?
I was interested to read the theoretical perspectives presented on the concept of salutogenesis, the medical/social model, the humanisation of care and the notion of compassionate care. While these concepts were flagged as informing and framing the content it was not always obvious to me that that was the case.
Strengths & weaknesses:
I didn’t find the sequencing of the chapters to be particularly logical or sequential, however given the nature of the book, chapters can easily be read in isolation. I would have liked to have seen a more transparent structure and sequencing of the chapters and found it strange that the final chapter 11 consisted of two pages which was a missed opportunity to draw together the proceeding chapters.
Who should read it?
I suspect the majority of readers will focus in on specific chapters that are of interest or relevance. Some chapters have a broader focus and provide a useful grounding such as chapter three – core outcomes in maternity care research and chapter five – knowledge transfer. Other sections will appeal to those with specific interest such as chapter two – fetal screening and chapter ten – technology in childbirth.
The language and content does require a degree of familiarity and comfort with research approaches, however there is much in here to inform evidence based quality midwifery practice.