Student midwives’ awareness, knowledge, and experiences of antenatal anxiety within clinical practice: A mixed-methods study.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)380-393
JournalJournal of Reproductive and Sexual Health
Issue number4
Early online date30 Jun 2017
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 30 Jun 2017
Externally publishedYes
Objective: The current study aimed to explore student midwives’ awareness, knowledge, and experiences of supporting women with antenatal anxiety (ANA) within clinical practice.
Background: ANA is associated with negative outcomes for mother and baby. Midwives play a key role in the screening of antenatal mental health and care of women suffering from ANA.
Methods: This study was conducted with student midwives at one UK university in the north-west of England. Twenty-five midwifery students completed a brief online survey informed by National Institute of Health and Care Excellence (NICE) guidelines. Of these, seven volunteered to participate in semi-structured interviews exploring the survey data. The interview topic guide was designed based on the findings of the survey.
Results: Thematic analysis of the seven interviews revealed four overarching themes: Perpetuating factors, Barriers to care, Skills required in role and Suggestions for future directions. Midwives had a varied knowledge and understanding of ANA and expressed a desire to learn more about their role in supporting women with ANA.
Conclusion: Although a small study, the results highlight the need for education to be improved in order to best prepare student midwives for cases of ANA, with emphasis on integrating psychology and mental health information into teaching as well as time spent in clinical practice. Midwives are key in the screening of women for ANA and are in an ideal position to signpost for specialist care.

    Research areas

  • Antenatal anxiety, screening, mental health


  • Smith student midwives

    Rights statement: This is an Accepted Manuscript of an article published by Taylor & Francis in the Journal of Reproductive and Infant Psychology on 30 Jun 2017, available online:

    Accepted author manuscript, 704 KB, PDF document

External organisations

  • University of Manchester

View graph of relations