“Normal in all the rush”: A phenomenological study analyzing midwifery students' views on obstetric violence

Unutkan A., Elem E.

Nurse Education Today, vol.132, 2024 (SCI-Expanded) identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 132
  • Publication Date: 2024
  • Doi Number: 10.1016/j.nedt.2023.106014
  • Journal Name: Nurse Education Today
  • Journal Indexes: Science Citation Index Expanded (SCI-EXPANDED), Social Sciences Citation Index (SSCI), Scopus, ASSIA, CINAHL, EBSCO Education Source, Education Abstracts, Educational research abstracts (ERA), DIALNET
  • Keywords: Birth, Midwifery, Midwifery students, Mistreatment at birth, Obstetric violence
  • Kütahya Health Sciences University Affiliated: Yes


Introduction: In recent years, obstetric violence, which undermines women's dignity and autonomy, has received increased attention worldwide. Considering the importance of midwives in combating violence in the obstetric field and the significance of the discussed issue, the following question arises: How do future midwives view obstetric violence? Objective: This study aimed to investigate midwifery students' thoughts about obstetric violence. Design and method: This study was conducted using a phenomenological qualitative research design. This study, which adopted a descriptive approach and used typical case sampling, was conducted in the midwifery department of the Kutahya Health Sciences University. Sixteen midwifery students studying fourth-year in the 2018–2019 academic year, who had participated in childbirth during their studies, and who agreed to participate in the study were included. All students had the experience of repeated monitoring and presence in labor. They had witnessed births in different institutions. Focus group interviews were conducted using an unstructured interview guide to obtain data for the study. Data were collected through four focus group interviews with groups of four students in the classroom environment. The data were evaluated separately by two researchers using the content analysis method in MAXQDA Analytics Pro 2020. The Consolidated Criteria for Reporting Qualitative Studies guidelines were used as a guide in reporting. Results: As a result of the analysis, four main themes emerged: defining violence, causes of violence, effects of witnessing violence, and whether can violence be prevented? Conclusions: Midwifery students have an awareness of all visible forms of obstetric violence. However, they were less aware of the invisible structural and policy drivers of obstetric violence. It is invaluable to raise awareness of obstetric violence among midwifery students, who will be the most important defenders of women in childbirth. Studies focused on education and policy will contribute to women receiving quality care at birth.