Posted: August 19th, 2021

Critique of a Qualitative Research Study

Critique of Walsh (2006) “‘Nesting’ and ‘matrescence’ as distinctive choices of a free-standing starting centre inside the UK.


The provision of evidence-based midwifery care inside the current UK maternity care setting is of extreme priority (Rosswurm and Larrabee, 1999). In line with Kitson et al (2000) the implementation of research-derived proof into medical observe is mediated by the connection between the attributes of the evaluation in question, along with the type and nature of the evaluation proof and its rigour and perceived top quality; the medical context or setting inside which the evaluation is utilized; and the tactic of implementation and its outcomes on observe. Evaluation proof can inform explicit particular person factors of midwifery care, midwives’ attitudes and data, and even the design and enchancment of midwifery corporations. Whereas for lots of midwives and totally different healthcare practitioners there shall be ongoing challenges inside the wise integration of research proof into their work place (Rosswurm and Larrabee, 1999), the price of research nonetheless lies in its rigour, usefulness and the specificity of findings (Stetler et al, 1998). For midwives, use of research proof moreover means they're going to greater help women to make educated choices (Magill-Cuerdon, 2006), notably about native land, whereas conserving up to date (NMC, 2004).

This essay addresses the critique of a qualitative evaluation study specializing in parts of starting centre midwifery care. Starting centres have emerged as a giant driver all through the UK maternity model for bringing about greater shopper satisfaction, greater medical outcomes and additional alignment with normality in midwifery. As well as they signify the emergence of protection which is attentive to some factors of ladies’s (and midwives’) choices (Beake and Bick, 2007).

The articles had been critiqued using a framework derived from the work of Rees (2003), and Cluett and Bluff (2003), due to their familiarity to the author and their ease of use. Every authors have a midwifery orientation, and whereas this critique has been educated by a wide range of nursing, midwifery and primary evaluation sources, it is good to retain a midwifery orientation for the tactic itself.


Title, Authors and Focus

The title of the study is clear and pertains to the findings of the evaluation and its consider starting centre observe all through the UK locality and maternity corporations paradigm. Nonetheless, it would not search recommendation from the character of the evaluation, which could have allowed the reader to immediately decide the underpinning evaluation paradigm. The author is a Senior Lecturer in Midwifery all through the UK, inside a Midwifery Evaluation Unit. It can even have been useful to know what involvement the author would possibly want had inside the unit and the way in which specialist their data of the evaluation location was, to guage, as an example, if there's any potential for bias (Polit and Hungler, 1995).

Literature Consider

The literature overview is positioned all through the Introduction a part of the paper, and presents every a rationale for the evaluation and a placement all through the historic enchancment of protection and observe. The character of the overview proper right here firmly places the paper inside a midwifery paradigm by critiquing historic capabilities of proof inside quantitative or scientific paradigms, which consider pathology (Walsh, 2006). Conversely, theorists define the UK maternity corporations spectrum as being based mostly upon an holistic paradigm promoting normality, pure starting, various, administration and client-centred care (Beake and Bick, 2007). Walsh (2006) orients the dialogue within the route of worldwide factors about intervention fees, and hyperlinks the dialogue to tempo of starting. Nonetheless, aside from this, there's little or no vital evaluation of present evaluation all through the matter area; reasonably the author refers to an earlier study to which he contributed evaluating quantitative evaluation analysis about free-standing starting centres (Walsh, 2006). The author moreover makes use of this a part of the paper to stipulate some phrases and some of the main target of the paper. A additional detailed evaluation critique would have been acceptable proper right here (Baker, 2006; Cutcliffe and McKenna, 1999; Gerrish and Lacey, 2006; Holliday, 2002).

Evaluation Methodology

The author is restricted about having a qualitative technique, particularly methodology, which is suitable for answering their evaluation question (Walsh, 2006). The stated objective of the evaluation “was to find the custom, beliefs, value, customs and practices throughout the start course of inside an FSBC” (Walsh, 2006 p 229). In line with Cutcliffe and McKenna (1999) qualitative evaluation methodologies can attempt to reply questions on medical observe which won't be adequately addressed by quantitative evaluation approaches. Ethnography is a longtime methodology for this kind of evaluation, notably concerning starting setting and to midwifery centred care, all successfully aligned with qualitative fashions (Rees, 2003) and precept producing evaluation (Parahoo, 2006). The usefulness of research analysis comparable to this may be linked to their ‘match’ with the issues concerned, and likewise with how detailed and rich (to not level out informative) the data derived are (Kearney, 2001). Such evaluation moreover has the advantage of being additional client-oriented (Parahoo, 2006). The methodology itself is printed clearly and positively suggests not solely a deep grasp of the true which implies of ethnograpy however as well as the kind of depth of knowledge it ought to produce (Baker, 2006).


The author defines clearly the setting of the evaluation, which is appropriate for an ethnographic study (Goulding, 2005), and defines the sample as comprising 15 midwives, 10 maternity care assistant (the entire medical staff engaged on the centre) (a purposive sample) and 30 women who agreed to be interviewed of which 5 allowed commentary of their care (Walsh, 2006). The latter is described as an opportunistic sample (Walsh, 2006), which is analogous to a consolation sample and is the kind of sample principally required for this kind of evaluation (Wilkinson, 2000). There is not a component provided about how this sample was recruited, and so it may't be judged whether or not or not or not this was achieved ethically or if any coercion was involved (Rees, 2003). There are no particulars given regarding the types of people, or any demographic information which might enhance transparency and allow the reader to guage the transferability of these findings (Grix, 2004). Whereas sample measurement should not be usually of problem in qualitative evaluation (Rees, 2003), and significantly, in ethnographic evaluation (Devane et al, 2004; Hicks, 1996), as it is the richness of the data which is most important (Hek and Moule, 2006), the sample measurement does seem like passable, notably when the timescale and span of the evaluation is taken into consideration.

Ethical Points

Some consideration is paid to ethics, in that entry was requested and afforded by the native PCT who owned the establishing, and permission was secured from the hospital that employed the staff (Walsh, 2006). Ethics somittee was granted, and all people provided “educated written consent” (Walsh, 2006 p 229). As soon as extra, additional component proper right here would have allowed the reader to guage the character of the information and consent, and another ethical factors there would possibly want been inside the evaluation course of (Austin, 2001). Ethical factors should be of main significance in ending up evaluation of this nature, notably in observing women in the midst of the time of starting, when they aren't solely notably vulnerable however as well as notably uncovered (Austin, 2001). Vulnerability of matters should be thought-about in designing medical evaluation (RCN, 2004). Some warning is required over understanding the types of ladies recruited to the study and their diploma of vulnerability, as an example (Rees, 2003).

A barely additional vital view of the ethical dimensions of this paper would have been useful (Cooper, 2006). As an example, whereas ethics committees of elementary significance in evaluation governance and have a giant accountability for the security of victims and people (Cooper, 2006), this does not indicate that they will assure true educated consent is given and has continued to be given all by means of the interval of the study. The Nuremburg Code (1949) underlines the need for voluntary consent, nevertheless might there have been any sense of obligation on the part of the evaluation people to take part? The Nuremburg Code (1949) further places accountability for determining the usual and nature of the consent upon each explicit particular person one who initiates, directs or engages inside the evaluation, and so this author would question whether or not or not or not having the entire starting unit staff involved inside the study would possibly want launched some stress on women to participate. Hollway and Jefferson (2000) describe consent as a unbroken understanding of the implications of the evaluation for the participant. There is not a indication of how this has been addressed proper right here.

Data Assortment and Analysis

Data assortment is dealt with as briefly as a result of the sample, analysis and literature overview are dealt with. The author carried out commentary adopted by adjust to up interviews, taking space recordings (audio) which had been transcribed the next day, and interviews with women, midwives and MCAs, all of which had been audio recorded and transcribed (Walsh, 2006). This kind of data assortment is suited to the evaluation design (Moore, 2006; Easton et al, 2000).

Walsh (2006) describes the analytical course of as ‘thematic analysis’ (p 230), using line by line coding which as soon as extra is a longtime course of for analysing qualitative textual data (Goulding, 2005; Holloway and Jefferson, 2000; Rees, 2003). The thematic analysis course of is printed, and one occasion of how the researcher arrived on the themes and meanings is provided, which boosts transparency and auditability (Cluett and Bluff, 2006). The author moreover discusses the tactic nearly totally different literature. Nonetheless, additional component proper right here would have enhanced this half (Easton et al, 2006).


As is turning into for a qualitative paper, the findings are talked about in some component, under sub-headings which clearly signpost the dialogue for the reader and make it easy to study and assimilate the information (Baker, 2006). The author moreover consists of quotes from the textual data to exemplify the dialogue (Rees, 2003). The findings are commented upon all by means of, and there is an extension exploration of each theme. The themes had been:

  • The flip to starting environment and setting
  • Affect of the first go to
  • Nesting responses
  • Vicarious nesting
  • Care as mothering

Dialogue and Implications for Apply

The findings from this paper have clear implications for the understanding of the design and provision of starting areas all through the UK maternity corporations. As well as they've significance for understanding the character of midwifery observe, notably inside such a setting. The ‘human’ aspect of caring was evident, from the behaviours of staff in making the environment optimistic and supportive, to the behaviours of ladies and staff all through their time inside the centre. The dialogue a part of the paper focuses on two parts of these findings, that of nesting as “psychosocial safety” (p 235) and “Psychological safety and ‘matrescence’” (Walsh, 2006 p 236). The author contextualises these findings all through the current medical model, demonstrating a level of engagement with women on the part of midwives that goes previous medical actions to 1 factor additional nurturing and way more intimate. The complexities of ladies’s experiences of starting are recurrently referred to inside the literature, and however there's little apparent significance paid to these when the overarching concern of ‘dwell mother and dwell youngster’ is trotted out as the final word justification for any kind of maternity care that transgresses women’s preferences or emotional responses. Selections in childbirth are significantly superior, and the types of choices that women make about their starting location, experience and preferences are normally not solely related to their explicit particular person preferences and data nevertheless to the socially-acquired data and attitudes they've developed, which might be significantly affected by obstetric fashions and issues over ‘safety’ (Magill-Cuerden, 2006). It is apparent from this textual content that understanding the psychosocial, emotional and even non secular dimensions of the start environment, along with the reference to maternity care suppliers, presents depth of notion into women’s needs and into what can realistically be provided them under that all-encompassing, frequently-touted time interval ‘help’. Ladies need to know the weather that have an effect on their selections (Magill-Cuerden, 2006), nevertheless women and midwives moreover need to know the ethical, emotional and relationship dimensions of their ‘matrescence’, the tactic of turning right into a mother (Walsh, 2006).

The implications for observe listed under are very important, on account of, working inside the medical model of care, midwives are typically hampered of their talent to supply the psycho-emotional or non secular factors of care and nurturing which might be highlighted as so very important on this paper. Moreover, there is also midwives and maternity care assistants who haven't got the requisite sensitivity, perception in women and themselves, and emotional intelligence to reach this diploma of observe. Walsh (2006) cites all-too-family “unhelpful behaviours” along with “paternalism, being patronising” and “indifference and fear of intimacy” (p 238). Thus, it might be seen that for lots of midwives attaining what's described on this paper should not be acceptable. The anecdotal proof from medical midwifery observe is that, inside the opinion of many, midwives who can receive this state work domestically or in starting centres, and people that may't go for extreme menace, centralised maternity care areas throughout which they each can avoid this diploma of engagement with the buyer or are actively discouraged by organisational or ward custom from doing so.

Walsh (2006) makes the following suggestion:

“These findings lead me to contemplate that midwives ought to go looking strategies to rehabilitate ‘nurture’ and ‘love’, by-product of matrescence, as acquainted childbirth language and as mainstream caring actions in childbirth.” (p 238).

Nonetheless, consideration would moreover must be paid to the outcomes on midwives themselves, who would possibly bear from emotional backlash and even burnout, notably inside the current UK context. This would possibly even have implications for the character of pre-registration midwifery education inside the UK, on account of it should grow to be part of the tactic of turning right into a midwife, and it is quite a bit more durable to point out abstract factors of ‘turning into’ than it is to run emergency drills and practice school college students how one can critique evaluation papers. Nonetheless, if such a paper will be utilized as proof to fluctuate observe, then it'd, normal, be a optimistic change.


A vital evaluation of this qualitative paper has highlighted its strengths and weaknesses, in that the author has adhered to concepts of qualitative evaluation, has chosen a question or area of enquiry which requires a qualitative technique, and has demonstrated a functionality to utilize such evaluation to copy woman-oriented strategies of determining (Hicks, 1996). There are limitations to the study, actually one in every of which is that the author does not going uncover its limitations in any good depth, nevertheless normal the usual of knowledge analysis, exploration and dialogue is such that the scarcity of component about elementary evaluation concepts is eclipsed. The author firmly locates the study all through the current context, nevertheless might go further in exploring the impression on midwives if such concepts do obtain altering observe. Whereas Cluett and Bluff (2006) state “observe based mostly totally on standard data is not acceptable” (p 276, Walsh (2006) has taken ‘standard data’ and ‘examined’ it by the use of a study of 1 express starting setting, and provided a cheap diploma of proof (in terms of midwifery care on the very least) for some great benefits of positive underlying concepts of what has been discarded by the medical profession as a result of the unimportant emotional aspect of maternity care.


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