Continuity Of Midwifery Search Strategy


Researching requires one to first of all identify the sources of literature to be used in the research (Kable, Pich & Maslin-Prothero, 2012). A researcher thereby needs to develop a strategy as well as criteria that would ensure that they get the literature that fits the topic under study. In this paper, the search for published literature on the topic ‘continuity of midwifery’ will be documented.

Databases and search engines used

The databases that were used in the search include PubMed, Cochrane Library, PopLine, and CINAHL Plus (Kable, Pich & Maslin-Prothero, 2012). The main search engine used was Google.

Limits applied

In order to enhance the chance of obtaining relevant publications, there are a number of limits which were applied. One of them was the time of publication. There was search for papers that had been published in the last 10 years. The search was also limited qualitative and quantitative papers (Kable, Pich & Maslin-Prothero, 2012). Lastly, the limit that was applied was at least one of the sources had to be a Cochrane Systematic Review.


Inclusion and exclusion criteria

There are a number of criteria that were used to include or exclude a publication. One of the criteria is time of publication. As indicated before, only papers which had been published in the last 10 years were considered in this search (Kable, Pich & Maslin-Prothero, 2012). Another criterion which was used to include or exclude a document was whether a publication was based on a scientific study. The search was focused publications that highlighted either qualitative or quantitative research studies on the topic. Lastly, the search was focused on publications that were only relevant to continuity of midwifery.

The search terms which were used include: midwifery continuity, caseload midwifery, and maternity care (Kable, Pich & Maslin-Prothero, 2012).

The retrieved articles are highly relevant because they address the topic extensively. There are a number of aspects of the topic that the articles analyse. These aspects include: the effectiveness of continuity care of midwifery; comparison of the caseload midwifery care and standard maternity care in terms of cost and health outcomes (McLachlan et al., 2012); and experiences and views of caseload midwifery among midwives and others. Collectively, the articles address the health, social, and economic aspects of the continuity of midwifery. Another reason the articles are relevant is they are based on scientific research (Kable, Pich & Maslin-Prothero, 2012). There were participants who were observed or their opinions sought before conclusions were drawn.

The four articles retrieved were chosen for inclusion because of a number of reasons. One of them is their relevance to the topic under study. Another reason is the articles satisfied all the set criteria for inclusion

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The studies support the results of the other two papers previously critiqued in various ways. One of them is the results in these articles also point towards the effectiveness of continuity of midwifery in improving health outcomes among expectant women and new mothers (McLachlan et al 2012; Sandall et al., 2016). Another way in which the studies support the results in the other two papers is with respect to the experiences of midwives. The results in these studies indicate that midwives have both positive and negative experiences, results which were also observed in the other two papers.

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Basically, the four articles provide great insight into the topic ‘continuity of midwifery’. They reveal the importance of midwifery in healthcare as well as the attitudes of both mothers and midwives towards the practice. The articles also support the results in the two articles previously critiqued.


  • Cummins, A. M., Denney-Wilson, E., & Homer, C. S. E. (2015). The experiences of new graduate midwives working in midwifery continuity of care models in Australia. Midwifery, 31(4), 438-444.
  • Gu, C., Zhang, Z., & Ding, Y. (2011). Chinese midwives’ experience of providing continuity of care to labouring women. Midwifery, 27(2), 243-249.
  • Kable, A. K., Pich, J., & Maslin-Prothero, S. E. (2012). A structured approach to documenting a search strategy for publication: a 12 step guideline for authors. Nurse Education Today, 32(8), 878-886.
  • McLachlan, H. L., Forster, D. A., Davey, M. A., Farrell, T., Gold, L., Biro, M. A., ... & Waldenström, U. (2012). Effects of continuity of care by a primary midwife (caseload midwifery) on caesarean section rates in women of low obstetric risk: the COSMOS randomised controlled trial. BJOG: an international journal of obstetrics & gynaecology, 119(12), 1483-1492.
  • Sandall, J., Soltani, H., Gates, S., Shennan, A., & Devane, D. (2016). Midwife‐led continuity models versus other models of care for childbearing women. The Cochrane Library.
  • Tracy, S. K., Hartz, D. L., Tracy, M. B., Allen, J., Forti, A., Hall, B., & Bisits, A. (2013). Caseload midwifery care versus standard maternity care for women of any risk: M@ NGO, a randomised controlled trial. The Lancet, 382(9906), 1723-1732.
  • Williams, K., Lago, L., Lainchbury, A., & Eagar, K. (2010). Mothers’ views of caseload midwifery and the value of continuity of care at an Australian regional hospital. Midwifery, 26(6), 615-621.

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