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Hunter B, Fenwick J, Sidebotham M, Henley J. Midwives in the United Kingdom: levels of burnout, depression, anxiety and stress and associated predictors. Midwifery. 2019; 79

Monroe TB, Kenaga H, Dietrich MS, Carter MA, Cowan RL. The prevalence of employed nurses identified or enrolled in substance use monitoring programs. Nursing Research. 2013; 62:(1)10-15

Bad apples? Bad barrels? Or bad cellars? Antecedents and processes of professional misconduct in UK Health and Social Care: insights into sexual misconduct and dishonesty. 2017.

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Exploring problematic substance use among registered midwives

02 April 2020
2 min read
Volume 28 · Issue 4


A national call for midwives to participate in research to explore their own and others' personal substance use

There is a united level of concern for the health and wellbeing of midwives in the UK, where recent research has shown that many of these midwives experience work-related stress and burnout (Hunter et al, 2019). Such experiences may lead to midwives being at particular risk of substance use/misuse (Monroe et al, 2013). In fact, in a recent review of fitness-to-practise cases, a number of those put before the Nursing and Midwifery Council related to alcohol (n=208) and drug misuse (n=131) (Searle et al, 2017).

‘Recent research has shown that many of these midwives experience work-related stress and burnout’

Such episodes of addiction, alcohol and drug use are classed as individual health concerns. Yet, while they can leave a variety of healthcare professionals depleted, and both workplace safety and the safety of care compromised (Servodidio, 2011), relevant literature has thus far been largely dominated by the experiences and care of physicians (Weenink et al, 2017; Chen and Leung, 2019). Consequently, researchers from Coventry University are now conducting the first nationwide study of registered midwives in relation to this issue. The aims of this study are:

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