The quality and significance of Australian midwifery research

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Publication details

Fahy, K 2005, 'The quality and significance of Australian midwifery research', Australian Midwifery Journal, vol. 18, no. 1, pp. 3-9.

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The purpose of this paper is to evaluate the quality and significance of contemporary Australian midwifery research as reported in the Australian Midwifery Journal 2002–2004. The evaluation involved grading the research. The ultimate aim is to recommend some research strategies and areas of focus for our discipline over the next five to 10 years. The average score for quantitative research was 2.3 out of a possible 4 (with 4 being the highest possible). The average grades for significance as evidence for practice were calculated with 1 being the highest possible grade and 5 being the lowest possible. For qualitative research, the average grade was undesirably high at 4.2 and for quantitative research it was 4.4.

The grading exercise demonstrated that our current research output is, with some exceptions, not of high enough quality to be able to create evidence for practice. Thus, our first step must be to improve the quality of both our qualitative and quantitative research. Multi-site, team based, programmatic research is recommended as a multi-pronged strategy to improve the quality of our research, enhance our research training and become successful in funding applications. A limitation of the study is that the exercise would be strengthened if two or more reviewers had completed the reviews independently

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