School of Nursing and Midwifery
Background: Internationally, the midwifery workforce is facing a professional crisis due to numerous organizational and individual factors that have led to midwives leaving the profession. These factors include high levels of workplace stress, systemic barriers to providing woman and person-centered care, trauma, and burnout. The COVID-19 pandemic magnified these pre-existing stressors and adversities and has further disrupted midwives' ability to practice within their professional norms. In order to understand how midwives can be better supported, there is a need to understand what contributes to and detracts from their well-being and resilience. Aim: To investigate and synthesize the extant international knowledge on midwives' well-being and resilience in the context of workplace stress and adversity. Method: Integrative review of the literature published in peer-reviewed journals. Results: Thematic analysis of the literature resulted in three core themes: (1) risk factors and adversity; (2) protective factors and resilience; and (3) sustaining factors and well-being in midwifery. Findings from this integrated review highlight that several factors associated with workplace adversity can also be sources of protection depending on their presence or absence. Within the included studies, there exists a broad use of concepts and definitions that are applied to well-being and resilience, resulting in a lack of uniformity and cohesion. Conclusions: In this review, we identified a high level of workplace adversity and the subsequent impacts on midwives' well-being and resilience. A series of protective factors and strategies that can be used to improve the well-being of midwives and support resilience within the profession were also identified; however, further research of the population is required. In addition, the development of cohesive well-being and resilience concepts specific to midwifery is recommended, as is the development and application of uniform terminologies and definitions.
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