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Water immersion during labour for women with raised BMI

About This PhD Project

Project Description

Oxford Brookes University
Faculty of Health and Life Sciences,
Oxford School of Nursing and Midwifery

3 Year Full Time studentship
Eligibility: Home UK/EU applicants who must be permanently resident in UK/EU
Closing date: 28th October 2019
Start Date: January 2020
Bursary p.a.: £15,009
Contact supervisor: Dr Jane Carpenter ()

There is international recognition of the potential harm caused by the over-use of Caesarean section (CS). For women at low risk of obstetric complications, there is now clear evidence on the importance of place of birth (midwifery unit or home birth, rather than obstetric unit), midwifery-led care, continuity of carer and water immersion as safe and effective ways to support spontaneous vaginal birth and normal birth. However, ways to support normal birth for women with known obstetric risks, such as obesity (BMI >30kg/m2), require further investigation.
This PhD studentship will use a mixed methods approach, including a substantial quantitative element, to address the following research question: Is the use of water immersion during labour and/or birth both safe and effective as a method to increase rates of normal birth for women who are obese? Depending on the interests and experience of the student, work will be drawn from four key strands: a systematic review; guideline scoping and development; secondary analysis of data from a national cohort study and potential analysis of routinely collected data; a qualitative investigation of women’s and midwives’ views and experiences. Relevant University and NHS ethical approval will be sought.

This is a collaborative project, with key people involved being:
Dr Louise Hunter (Programme Lead, Midwifery, Oxford Brookes University; Co-Director of Studies) and Dr Mary Malone (Director, Oxford School of Nursing and Midwifery; Co-Director of Studies), Dr Jane Carpenter (Lecturer in Midwifery), Dr Rachel Rowe (University Research Lecturer, National Perinatal Epidemiology Unit, University of Oxford), Dr Ethel Burns (Senior Lecturer in Midwifery)

The successful applicant will join Oxford Brookes University Maternal and Women’s Public Health research group (OxBUMP).

As part of their Studentship, any successful applicant will be required to undertake up to 6 hours teaching a week during semesters without further remuneration. Training will be given.

University fees and bench fees will be met by the University for the 3 years of the Studentship.

Requirements: Applicants should be of the highest quality and capable of submitting a PhD thesis within 3 years. Applicants should have a first class or upper second class honours degree from a Higher Education Institution in the UK or an equivalent qualification. A Masters degree would be an advantage, as would previous research experience, publications and/or professional experience as a registered midwife working with a wide range of women and their families. EU Applicants must have an IELTS Academic test certificate with an overall minimum score of 7.0 and no score below 6.0 issued within the last two years from an approved test centre. We will consider alternative acceptable evidence of English Language ability.

To apply email to request an application form.

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