Abstract AIM: To describe the research protocol that will be used to investigate factors contributing to effective interprofessional practice in a rural context in Australia. BACKGROUND: Interprofessional practice is a key strategy for overcoming rural health challenges; however, our knowledge of interprofessional initiatives and consequences in rural areas is limited. DESIGN: A modified realistic evaluation approach will be used to explore the structures, systems, and social processes contributing to effective interprofessional outcomes. This 'context-mechanism-outcome' approach provides a useful framework for identifying why and how interprofessional practice works in rural contexts. METHOD: Initial propositions regarding the factors that explain effective collaborative practice will be generated through interviews with lead clinicians, policy-makers, and clinician managers. Clinician interviews, document analysis, and multi-participant focus groups will be used as evidence to support, refine, or redevelop the initial propositions. This will allow the development of a model of rural interprofessional practice that will explain how and why collaborative approaches work in rural environments. This study is funded by an Institute of Rural Clinical Services and Teaching grant (January 2010). DISCUSSION: Rural healthcare challenges are well documented; however, studies investigating the nature of interprofessional practice in rural contexts are not common. Rural contexts also present research design, particularly data collection, challenges. This proposed research is one of the first to identify the factors that facilitate or constrain effective interprofessional work in rural settings. This is particularly important, given the continuing workforce shortages and maldistribution and poorer health outcomes in rural communities globally.
Aim: To critically appraise and synthesise the literature regarding the role and scope of midwifery practice, specifically to inform the evidence based development of standards for practice for all midwives in Australia. Design: A structured scoping review of the literature Data sources: CINAHL Complete, MEDLINE Complete and Cochrane Libraries databases, online and grey literature databases Review methods: Comprehensive searches of databases used key words and controlled vocabulary for each database to search for publications 2006-2016. Studies were not restricted by research method. Findings: There is no substantive body of literature on midwifery competency standards or standards for practice. From 1648 papers screened, twenty-eight papers were identified to inform this review. Eight studies including systematic reviews were annotated with three research papers further assessed as having direct application to this review. To inform the development of Midwife standards for practice, the comprehensive role of the midwife across multiple settings was seen to include: woman centred and primary health care; safe supportive and collaborative practice; clinical knowledge and skills with interpersonal and cultural competence. Key conclusions: Midwifery practice is not restricted to the provision of direct clinical care and extends to any role where the midwife uses midwifery skills and knowledge. This practice includes working in clinical and non-clinical relationships with the woman and other clients as well as working in management, administration, education, research, advisory, regulatory, and policy development roles. Implications for practice: This review articulates the definition, role and scope of midwifery practice to inform the development of contemporary standards for practice for the Australian midwife. (C) 2019 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.