Midwives' reflections on their educational programme: a traditional or problem-based learning approach?

Rowan, Cathy, Beake, Sarah and McCourt, Christine (2009) Midwives' reflections on their educational programme: a traditional or problem-based learning approach? Midwifery, 25 (2). pp. 213-222. ISSN 0266-6138

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to explore the longer-term effect of a problem-based learning (PBL) programme on midwives in practice.


qualitative study. Graduates involved in an earlier study of the implementation of a PBL programme were interviewed between 5 and 6 years after graduating to explore the possible longer-term effect of a PBL programme on their practice as midwives.


Thames Valley University with graduates who had completed an 18-month programme on one of two campuses on a variety of clinical sites.


interviews were held with four graduates who had completed their programme before the implementation of PBL and five who had completed a PBL programme. Key themes were identified and compared cross-sectionally.


midwives who had graduated from a PBL programme found that the approach was valuable in enabling them to access information and to develop a critical questioning approach. Some felt anxious at the beginning of their programme and said that they would have benefited from more direction and feedback from the facilitator early on in the programme. The focus on individual presentations sometimes inhibited the students learning from others in the group. The success of the PBL approach was felt to be dependent on the way in which the group worked together. The quality of the clinical placement, and the support of mentors and link teachers in the clinical setting, was a key factor in learning for students from both programmes.


PBL has been incorporated into some programmes because it is thought to benefit practice disciplines, especially in a world of uncertain and changing evidence. However, no clear picture has emerged about the benefits of a PBL programme for midwifery education.

Implications for practice

our findings have implications for curriculum development to ensure the potential benefits of PBL are realised in practice. This may include providing further guidance and feedback to students, particularly at the start of their programme. Further research using innovative methodologies is needed to critically assess the longer-term effect of this approach to education.

Item Type: Article
Identifier: 10.1016/j.midw.2007.01.014
Keywords: Problem-based learning; Evaluation; Effectiveness; Midwifery education
Subjects: Medicine and health > Midwifery
Depositing User: Rod Pow
Date Deposited: 27 Jun 2012 13:16
Last Modified: 28 Aug 2021 07:16
URI: https://repository.uwl.ac.uk/id/eprint/127

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