Document Type

Journal Article

Publication Title

Implementation Science Communications


Springer Nature / BMC


School of Nursing and Midwifery




De Leo, A., Bayes, S., Bloxsome, D., & Butt, J. (2021). Exploring the usability of the COM-B model and theoretical domains framework (TDF) to define the helpers of and hindrances to evidence-based practice in midwifery. Implementation Science Communications, 2, article 7.


Background Despite the advancement of scientific research in the field of maternity care, midwives face challenges translating latest evidence into evidence-based practice (EBP) and express reticence towards leading practice change in clinical areas. This study aimed to explore midwifery leaders’ views on what factors help or hinder midwives’ efforts to translate latest evidence into everyday practice and consider them in relation to both the Capability, Opportunity, Motivation and Behaviour (COM-B) model and Theoretical Domains Framework (TDF). Methods This qualitative study formed part of a larger action research (AR) project that was designed to improve midwives’ EBP implementation capability. Data were obtained from eight Western Australian midwifery leaders who were employed in either managerial or executive positions within their organisation. Five midwives attended a focus group workshop and three opted for face-to-face interviews. Thematic analysis was used to code the transcribed data and group alike findings into sub-categories, which were collapsed to four major categories and one overarching core finding. These were mapped to a matrix combining the COM-B and TDF to establish the usability of these tools in midwifery contexts. Results Four major categories were developed from the data collected in this study. Three reported the hindrances midwives’ experienced when trying to initiate new EBPs: ‘For midwives, medical opposition and workplace culture are the biggest challenges’, ‘Fear can stop change: it’s personal for midwives’ and ‘Midwives are tired of fighting the battle for EBP; they need knowledge and the confidence to bring about practice change.’ The other major category highlighted factors midwives’ considered helpers of EBP: ‘Having stakeholder buy-in and strong midwifery leadership is a huge advantage.’ When mapped to the TDF and COM-B, these findings provided valuable insight into the helpers of and hindrances to evidence-based practice in midwifery. Conclusion Midwives are motivated to initiate evidence-based change yet have limited knowledge of implementation processes or the confidence to lead practice change. Factors such as inter-disciplinary buy-in, clear instruction for midwives and support from midwifery leaders were considered beneficial to implementing practice change in clinical areas. The TDF when used in combination with the COM-B was deemed useful to midwives wanting to lead practice change projects in clinical areas.



Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.