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Managing uncertainty in maternity care: a qualitative study


   Faculty of Health, Social Care and Education

  Dr Melania Calestani, Dr Kirstie Coxon  Applications accepted all year round  Competition Funded PhD Project (UK Students Only)

About the Project

Uncertainty and risk perceptions in relation to pregnancy and birth are complex processes based on multiple factors (Lee et al. 2019). There are two main discourses within childbirth. On one side, the biomedical model regards birth as risky, whereas the social model regards pregnancy risk as a concept constructed from multiple cultural and personal factors.

This project will look at healthcare professionals’ (obstetricians and midwives) uncertainty perception in relation to pregnancy and birth. It will focus on how uncertainty is managed in maternity care and the impact this may have on interprofessional working and the clinical decision-making process. The main aim is to explore how healthcare professionals discuss women and birthing people at increased medical/obstetric risk in multi-professional clinics, identifying factors that practitioners invoke as important when discussing their decisions in maternity care.

The proposed study will be a collaboration between the PhD student (who may have a background in health care, health sciences, nursing, midwifery or health visiting, or similar), supervisory team at Kingston University and representatives of the Trusts where the research will take place.

This PhD project would suit a clinical academic who would like to develop collaborative research relationships. The project may include a qualitative approach, involving an ethnography of multi-professional clinics in maternity care services and/or semi-structured interviews/ focus groups with midwives and obstetrician.

We welcome PhD applications on similar themes to those proposed. We are committed to creating a workplace that promotes and values diversity. We strongly encourage applications from people from diverse backgrounds including gender identity, race, age, class, and ethnicity.

You will normally need a postgraduate masters degree or a first/upper second class honours degree or equivalent in a subject relevant to your proposed research programme. Please check the relevant faculty's research degrees webpage for specific requirements.


Funding Notes

The Faculty is offering up to four competitively funded studentships in 2021/22. These will include six years of both an annual, part-time, UK stipend at UKRI rate and part-time UK PhD fees, if awarded. Applications will be internally assessed as part of our Centre of Applied Health and Social Care Research studentships competition.
To be considered for this studentship, candidates must apply for this project and have been notified of a conditional/unconditional offer for the Kingston PhD programme to start during the academic year 2021/22.
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