JMIR Research Protocols
School of Nursing and Midwifery
Australian Government Research Training Program
Background: The development of an integrated care pathway with multidisciplinary input to standardize and streamline care for pregnant women experiencing breech presentation at 36 or more weeks of gestation poses several challenges because of the divisive and contentious nature of the phenomenon. Although many clinicians are interested in obtaining the skills required to safely support women desiring a vaginal breech birth, the primary trend in most health care facilities is to recommend a cesarean section. Objective: This paper aims to discuss the mixed methods approach used in a doctoral study conducted to generate new knowledge regarding women’s experiences of breech birth in Western Australia and professional recommendations regarding the care of women experiencing breech presentation close to or at term. This study was designed to inform the development of an integrated care pathway for women experiencing a breech presentation. This mixed methods approach situated within the pragmatic paradigm was determined to be the optimal way for incorporating multidisciplinary recommendations with current clinical practice guidelines and consumer feedback. Methods: A mixed methods study utilizing semistructured interviews, an electronic Delphi (e-Delphi) study, and clinical practice guideline appraisal was conducted to generate new data. The interviews were designed to provide insights and understanding of the experiences of women in Western Australia who are diagnosed with a breech presentation. The e-Delphi study explored childbirth professionals’ knowledge, opinions, and recommendations for the care of women experiencing breech presentation close to or at term. The clinical practice guideline appraisal will examine the current national and professional breech management and care guidelines. This study has the potential to highlight areas in practice that may need improvement and enable clinicians to better support women through what can be a difficult time. Results: Data collection for this study began in November 2018 and concluded in March 2020. Data analysis is currently taking place, and the results will be disseminated through publication when the analysis is complete. Conclusions: The results of this study will guide the development of an integrated care pathway for women experiencing a breech presentation close to or at term, with the hope of moving toward standardized breech care for women in Western Australia. This study protocol has the potential to be used as a research framework for future studies of a similar nature.
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