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Caroline J Hollins Martin
British Journal of Midwifery, Vol. 16, Iss. 2, 07 Feb 2008, pp 76 - 81

In some instances midwives find it difficult to implement research into practice (Albers, 2001). For example, evidence informs of the benefits of providing continuous support during labour (Hodnett et al, 2003), yet one midwife to one woman is not compulsory in every maternity unit in the UK. Olsen (1997) meta-analyzed research that relates to the relative safety of home birth compared to hospital birth. Results found no difference in survival rates between babies born at home and those born in hospital. Amniotomy is still a common procedure, yet contra-indicated since fetal heart abnormalities are more likely in the healthy term fetus (Fraser et al, 1993). Such examples serve to sharpen awareness that some research is being overlooked. Consequently ideas about how to narrow the theory–practice gap become salient. With this in mind a model is proposed to help midwives implement change into practice. Changing behaviour is possible when logical structured approaches are taken at a number of levels.

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