Readiness for practice change: Evaluation of a tool for the Australian midwifery context
School of Nursing and Midwifery
Background: Midwifery is a research-informed profession with a mandated requirement to utilise latest best evidence. It is now recognised, however, that the introduction of new evidence into practice is complicated and uncertain. Growing awareness of this fact has led to the establishment of a new discipline, Implementation Science (IS), which is focused on developing ways to expedite the timely movement of evidence into practice. To date though, the wider midwifery profession has yet to make use of IS change-facilitation tools and methods. Aim: The aim of this study was to determine the fitness for use in midwifery of one established IS tool: the UK NHS Spread & Adoption tool, which is designed to enable clinicians to assess their organisational context for change readiness. Methods: A qualitative descriptive methodology was used for this study, which was set in two Australian states. Focus groups were used to collect data. The sample comprised ten Australian change-leader midwifery teams who had led evidence-based practice change initiatives in the previous 12 months. Findings: Three themes emerged from the data which together convey that although poor internet access was problematic for some, and some of the language was found to be inappropriate, the tool was ultimately viewed as very useful for helping the implementation of practice change in midwifery settings. Conclusions: This study provides valuable information about the broad suitability of the tested tool for Australian midwifery settings. Further research is required to evaluate a revised version.