Midwifery leadership in maternity emergencies: a video analysis

Sarah Janssens*, Robert Simon, Stephanie Barwick, Sharon Clipperton, Michael Beckmann, Stuart Marshall

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)


Maternity emergencies require effective leadership due to their time-critical high stakes nature, and like many emergency teams are recommended to have a singular leader. Midwives possess many of the skills required for leadership, but the extent to which they contribute to leadership in emergencies is unknown. In this video analysis study of 16 interprofessional teams responding to a simulated post-partum hemorrhage, a functional view of leadership was applied to determine midwifery contribution to leadership. The number and type of leadership utterances by team members during an emergency response was assessed, and midwifery and doctor leadership utterances compared. Midwives contributed just over 40% of all leadership utterances, indicating the occurrence of interprofessional shared leadership, despite the recommendation for a singular leadership. While the number of leadership utterances per scenario was similar for midwives and doctors, midwives contributed less to utterances of a clinical nature compared to doctors but a similar amount of non-clinical leadership. Further exploration of the factors which influence midwifery leadership in emergencies and the impact it may have on patient care is warranted.

Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of Interprofessional Care
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 7 Nov 2019
Externally publishedYes


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