• Clinical research ethics in Irish healthcare: diversity, dynamism and medicalization.

      Condell, Sarah L; Begley, Cecily; Dr Steevens' Hospital, Ireland. sarah.condell@hse.ie (Nursing ethics, 2012-11)
      Gaining ethical clearance to conduct a study is an important aspect of all research involving humans but can be time-consuming and daunting for novice researchers. This article stems from a larger ethnographic study that examined research capacity building in Irish nursing and midwifery. Data were collected over a 28-month time frame from a purposive sample of 16 nurse or midwife research fellows who were funded to undertake full-time PhDs. Gaining ethical clearance for their studies was reported as an early 'rite of passage' in the category of 'labouring the doctorate'. This article penetrates the complexities in Irish clinical research ethics by describing the practices these nurse and midwife researchers encountered and the experiences they had. The key issue of representation that occurred in the context of 'medicalized' research ethics is further explored including its meaning for nursing or midwifery research.
    • Comparison of midwife-led and consultant-led care of healthy women at low risk of childbirth complications in the Republic of Ireland: a randomised trial.

      Begley, Cecily; Devane, Declan; Clarke, Mike; McCann, Colette; Hughes, Patricia; Reilly, Mary; Maguire, Roisin; Higgins, Shane; Finan, Alan; Gormally, Siobhan; et al. (2011-10-29)
      ABSTRACT: BACKGROUND: No midwifery-led units existed in Ireland before 2004. The aim of this study was to compare midwife-led (MLU) versus consultant-led (CLU) care for healthy, pregnant women without risk factors for labour and delivery. METHODS: An unblinded, pragmatic randomised trial was designed, funded by the Health Service Executive (Dublin North-East). Following ethical approval, all women booking prior to 24 weeks of pregnancy at two maternity hospitals with 1,300-3,200 births annually in Ireland were assessed for trial eligibility.1,653 consenting women were centrally randomised on a 2:1 ratio to MLU or CLU care, (1101:552). 'Intention-to-treat' analysis was used to compare 9 key neonatal and maternal outcomes. RESULTS: No statistically significant difference was found between MLU and CLU in the seven key outcomes: caesarean birth (163 [14.8%] vs 84 [15.2%]; relative risk (RR) 0.97 [95% CI 0.76 to 1.24]), induction (248 [22.5%] vs 138 [25.0%]; RR 0.90 [0.75 to 1.08]), episiotomy (126 [11.4%] vs 68 [12.3%]; RR 0.93 [0.70 to 1.23]), instrumental birth (139 [12.6%] vs 79 [14.3%]; RR 0.88 [0.68 to 1.14]), Apgar scores <8 (10 [0.9%] vs 9 [1.6%]; RR 0.56 [0.23 to 1.36]), postpartum haemorrhage (144 [13.1%] vs 75 [13.6%]; RR 0.96 [0.74 to 1.25]); breastfeeding initiation (616 [55.9%] vs 317 [57.4%]; RR 0.97 [0.89 to 1.06]). MLU women were significantly less likely to have continuous electronic fetal monitoring (397 [36.1%] vs 313 [56.7%]; RR 0.64 [0.57 to 0.71]), or augmentation of labour (436 [39.6%] vs 314 [56.9%]; RR 0.50 [0.40 to 0.61]). CONCLUSIONS: Midwife-led care, as practised in this study, is as safe as consultant-led care and is associated with less intervention during labour and delivery. Trial registration: Current Controlled Trials ISRCTN14973283.
    • An evaluation of midwifery-led care in the Health Service Executive North Eastern Area: the report of the MiDU study

      Begley, Cecily; Devane, Declan; Clarke, Mike; School of Nursing and Midwifery, Trinity College Dublin (School of Nursing and Midwifery, Trinity College Dublin, Health Service Executive (HSE), 2009-11)