Does status have more influence than education on the decisions midwives make?

Hollins Martin, Caroline J and Bull, Peter 2004, 'Does status have more influence than education on the decisions midwives make?' , Clinical Effectiveness in Nursing, 8 , pp. 133-139.

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Hollins Martin [Social influence effects on midwives’ practice. Presentation at the British Psychological Society Social Psychology Section Annual Conference, 10th–12th September, 2003: London] developed the Social Influence Scale for Midwifery (SIS-M) to measure social influence of a senior midwife on a junior midwife’s decisions. First, midwives were asked to answer SIS-M questions in a postal survey. Second, in interviews, a senior midwife attempted to influence SIS-M responses in a conformist direction. The results of the Hollins Martin (2003) study showed that a senior midwife was able to significantly influence change to many midwives decisions, F(1,57) = 249.62, p = 0.001. The present study aims to ascertain whether decision changes were caused by social components of the relationship between interviewer and interviewee, or education shared during discussion. This is achieved by removing social influence of the senior midwife at interview. For this purpose, a workbook was devised that replicated the exact content of interview. This workbook was posted to a differing group of 60 midwives, who had also previously completed a private postal SIS-M. Overall, analysis of variance (ANOVA) showed no significant difference between the postal workbook scores and the private SIS-M scores,(F(1,57) = 0.31, p = 0.58). In other words, participants gave similar responses to the SIS-M questions in the workbook as the private postal condition. Results exclude possibility that education during the Hollins Martin (2003) interviews adjusted participants’ schema in relation to decisions made. Furthermore, this indicates that the social relationship, in part, caused the large social influence effect during interviews. The implications for practice are: first, that a senior midwife is profoundly capable of influencing decisions that junior midwives make; second, educational content plays little part in this process. Moreover, many of the SIS-M decisions should not be the choice of a senior midwife, but the preference of the childbearing women.

Item Type: Article
Themes: Health and Wellbeing
Schools: Schools > School of Health and Society > Centre for Applied Research in Health, Welfare and Policy
Journal or Publication Title: Clinical Effectiveness in Nursing
Publisher: Elsevier
Refereed: Yes
ISSN: 1361-9004
Depositing User: CJ Hollins Martin
Date Deposited: 22 Dec 2011 16:46
Last Modified: 16 Feb 2022 13:51

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