Women and Birth
School of Nursing and Midwifery
Australian Government Research Training Program Scholarship
Background: Preeclampsia is a global issue that causes significant morbidity and mortality in low- and middle-income countries (LMICs). The care women with preeclampsia receive in LMICs is below the standard experienced by women in westernised countries due to multiple interacting factors. A review of policy factors influencing the management of preeclampsia in Ghana is needed. Aim: This study focuses on the midwife's role and scope of practice concerning preeclampsia management. The study aimed to explore the congruence between Ghanaian preeclampsia guidelines and international best practice recommendations for midwifery practice. The study also aimed to describe how recommendations are incorporated into Ghanaian guidelines. Method/design: This study was a qualitative document analysis of national and tertiary hospital policies related to midwives’ scope of practice in Ghana. Altheide's five-step process (sampling, data collection, data coding and organisation, data analysis and report) was used to systematically source and analyse the content of written documents. Results: The findings illustrated several recommendation shortcomings in Ghanaian documents at the national and tertiary hospital levels. The content of Ghanaian preeclampsia management guidelines was not comprehensive, contained conflicting information, and was not backed by research evidence. The standards of practice for midwives were consistent at both the national and tertiary hospital levels. Midwives had limited roles in detection, management, stabilisation, and referral of women with preeclampsia. Conclusion: Uniform guidelines incorporating international recommendations are urgently needed to improve multi-professional collaboration, solidify midwives’ roles, and optimise maternal and fetal outcomes.
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