xploring the Role of Midwives in Health Care System in Iran and the World

Parvin Bahadoran, Shiva Alizadeh, Mahboubeh Valiani


Background: This research aimed to identify midwifery roles in Iran and the world to offer suggestions about desired roles of a midwife in health care service delivery system, considering the goals of national plan for maternal health.

Methods: This study was conducted using a mixed (triangulation) methodology in 3 steps. First, the roles of a midwife were extracted using documents existed in libraries, on the internet, announcement of ministries, and related organizational resources. Then, with Delphi method, the ideas of authorities were collected using a semi-open questionnaire. Finally, a questionnaire, according to last steps, was sent to 65 qualified individuals across the country to nationally measure the ideas, 53 of which were answered. The obtained results were finally analyzed.

Results: Midwifery roles were divided into 2 categories: general and professional. General roles include: supervision, management, consultation, research, teaching, legal and judicial, social work, participation in team work and reference, and participation in different managerial positions; professional roles include: care during pre-pregnancy, pregnancy, delivering time, post partum, neonatal care, maternal examination and family planning and the role of the midwife in offering services in the absence of a gynecologist. Third step showed that all roles are highly desirable (> 70%).

Conclusion: All of the roles, except supervision and social work, are in position in Iran and are faced with barriers in Iran because of not having adequate information about these roles and also some problems in proper execution of rules. It is needed a well-organized plan and human resources standardization to perform them better.

KEY WORDS: Midwife, Nurse-midwife's role, Health care systems, Health Care Delivery.

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