Developing a Research Focus in Implementing Continuous Support during Labour as Best Practice

Monday, 9 November 2015: 3:35 PM

Karin C. S. Minnie, PhD, RN, RM
INSINQ Research Focus Area - Research to advance quality of Nursing and Midwifery, North-West University (Potchefstroom Campus), Potchefstroom, South Africa
Hester C. Klopper, PhD, MBA, RN, RM, FANSA, FAAN
FUNDISA, University of the Western Cape and North-West University, Pretoria, South Africa

Title: Developing a research focus in implementing continuous support during labour as best practice


The purpose of this presentation is to describe the development of a focussed research programme in a LMIC. It is expected of researchers to establish focussed research, however in LMIC this is a challenge due to vast needs for development and capacity building. This presentation will describe the process followed in a supported project to assist researchers to develop focussed research programmes.

Problem statement

Nurse researchers in LMIC often find it difficult to do focussed research. Several challenges exists  amongst others that nurse researchers often have to supervise postgraduate students from a variety of nursing fields because of limited experienced supervisors; lack of recognition of researchers from other disciplines who do not have to be ‘generalists’; and lack of available resources – financial and human. . A further challenge is that nursing schools in LMIC need to develop their research agenda’s to embrace research as a critical element of their core activities.  


The Forum for University Nursing Deans in South Africa (FUNDISA) and the South African National Research Foundation (NRF) identified the need to develop nursing schools to be more research intensive and in the process assist upcoming nurse researchers at universities to develop focussed research programmes. The PLUME project was developed as intervention to build research capacity both for nursing schools and for identified lead researchers.

This presentation describes the establishment of the research programme ‘Knowledge to action strategy to facilitate continuous support during childbirth’. Continuous support during labour is an example of a best practice for which the evidence is clear but which is still not universally implemented. A research programme was developed where different aspects of the programme could build on each other and in which a number of students could contribute.


The impact of the PLUME program to develop a focussed research programme enabled the researcher to assist other researchers in the nursing school to develop or adjust their own research programmes to be more focussed. If their research programmes are developed early in their academic careers, researchers have a better opportunity to be recognised as a quality researcher. The specific research programme has the potential to make a difference in practice and improve the quality of care women receive during childbirth.