Methods for Alleviating Stress and Increasing Resilience in the Midwifery Community: A Scoping Review of the Literature

Erin M. Wright, Maude Theo Matthai, Nicole Warren

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


Introduction: Work-related stress and exposure to traumatic birth have deleterious impacts on midwifery practice, the midwife's physiologic well-being, and the midwifery workforce. This is a global phenomenon, and the specific sources of this stress vary dependent on practice setting. This scoping review aims to determine which, if any, modalities help to reduce stress and increase resilience among a population of midwives. Methods: A scoping review of the literature published between January 2011 and September 2016 using PubMed, CINAHL, Embase, PsycINFO, and Cochrane databases was performed. Of the initial 796 reviewed records, 6 met inclusion criteria. Results: Three of the 6 included studies were quantitative in nature, 2 were qualitative, and one used mixed methods. Countries where studies were conducted include Uganda, Iran, the United Kingdom, Israel, and Australia. Three of the studies used interventions for stress reduction and increased coping. Two of these 3 used a mindfulness-based stress reduction program resulting in improved stress levels and coping skills. In each study, midwives express a desire for work-based programs and support from colleagues and employers for increasing coping abilities. These studies focused on stress reduction and/or increasing resilience. Discussion: While modalities such as mindfulness-based stress reduction show promise, further studies with a cohort of midwives should be conducted. These studies should include interventions aimed at addressing the needs of midwives to improve psychological outcomes related to employment-related stress on a global scale and specific to each health care context.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)737-745
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Midwifery and Women's Health
Issue number6
StatePublished - Nov 1 2017


  • coping
  • job satisfaction
  • midwives
  • mindfulness-based stress reduction
  • resilience
  • stress

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Obstetrics and Gynecology
  • Maternity and Midwifery


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