This month I have had 2 pieces of
#NewResearch published with 2 of my favorite co-authors…@ (Senior Research Fellow; Research Development Lead; Coventry University, Coventry · Centre for Technology Enabled Health Research) & @clarercgp (Medical Doctor; King’s College London, London · Department of Primary Care and Public Health Sciences).
Wendy and I asked an expert panel what should be prioritised in the development of an online intervention designed to support midwives in work-related psychological distress. We did this via the Delphi methodology, and you can see the published protocol for this research here. Overall, participants agreed that in order to effectively support midwives in work-related psychological distress, online interventions should make confidentiality and anonymity a high priority, along with 24-hour mobile access, effective moderation, an online discussion forum, and additional legal, educational, and therapeutic components. It was also agreed that midwives should be offered a simple user assessment to identify those people deemed to be at risk of either causing harm to others or experiencing harm themselves, and direct them to appropriate support. You can read this full results paper here.
As this group of experts agreed that midwives would need both confidentiality and anonymity online in order to seek and engage with effective support, Wendy, Clare and I decided to explore the ethical issues associated with these provisions. We did this by conducting a Realist Synthesis Review. You can read our full review here.
We largely argue that..
In supporting midwives online, the principles of anonymity, confidentiality and amnesty may evoke some resistance on ethical grounds. However, without offering identity protection, it may not be possible to create effective online support services for midwives. The authors of this article argue that the principles of confidentiality, anonymity and amnesty should be upheld in the pursuit of the greatest benefit for the greatest number of people.
We now call upon the wider health and social care communities to join us in a further dialogue in relation to this in pursuit of robust ethical stability…Care to join us in this?
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The findings of this research will inform the development of an online intervention designed to support midwives in work-related psychological distress, and we sincerely wish to express our gratitude to all of the participants who have contributed to this project so far.
Ongoing plans include the scaling up of this project to support other health care populations to enhance the well being of staff, patients and the NHS as a whole.
The best is yet to come. Until then, take care of yourselves and each other.