Mapping factors that may influence attrition and retention of midwives: a scoping review protocol

Moncrieff, Gill, Downe, Soo orcid iconORCID: 0000-0003-2848-2550, Maxwell, Margaret and Cheyne, Helen (2023) Mapping factors that may influence attrition and retention of midwives: a scoping review protocol. BMJ Open, 13 (10).

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Introduction: An appropriately staffed midwifery workforce is essential for the provision of safe and high-quality maternity care. However, there is a global and national shortage of midwives. Understaffed maternity services are frequently identified as contributing to unsafe care provision and adverse outcomes for mothers and babies. While there is a need to recruit midwives through pre-registration midwifery programmes, this has significant resource implications, and is counteracted to a large extent by the high number of midwives leaving the workforce. It is increasingly recognised that there is a critical need to attend to retention in midwifery in order to develop and maintain safe staffing levels. The objective of this review is to collate and map factors that have been found to influence attrition and retention in midwifery. Methods and analysis: Joanna Briggs Institute guidance for scoping reviews and the Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-Analyses extension for Scoping Reviews will be used to guide the review process and reporting of the review. CINAHL, MEDLINE, PsycINFO and Scopus databases will be searched for relevant literature from date of inception to 21 July 2023. Research from high-income countries that explores factors that influence leaving intentions for midwives will be included. Literature from low-income and middle-income countries, and studies where nursing and midwifery data cannot be disaggregated will be excluded. Two reviewers will screen 20% of retrieved citations in duplicate, the first author will screen the remaining results. Data will be extracted using a preformed data extraction tool by the first author. Findings will be presented in narrative, tabular and graphical formats. Ethics and dissemination: The review will collate data from existing research, therefore ethics approval is not required. Findings will be published in journals, presented at conferences and will be translated into infographics and other formats for online dissemination.

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