The acceptance of males in midwifery practice in the Seychelles.
Agricole, Winifred Jeanneton.
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The aim of the study was to discover, describe and analyze factors related to the perceived acceptance of male nurses in the practice of midwifery in the Seychelles as perceived by nurses, pregnant women and their partners. A descriptive study using the qualitative approach was used. Theoretical sampling was employed and thirty-four participants comprising nurses, pregnant women and their partners were interviewed using an interview guide. Probing was done throughout. The nurses, the pregnant women and their partners were interviewed both in focus groups and individually. Participants taking part in individual interview were different from those taking part in focus group interview. The focus groups were homogeneous comprising professional nurses and consumers of service (pregnant women and their husbands) respectively. The findings revealed multitude of factors associated with the perceived acceptance of males in the practice of midwifery. These were classified as positive, negative and ambivalent. The major positive themes were unconditional acceptance, conditional acceptance, and equitable treatment, by all three groups of informants while traditional belief was the major negative theme. Other positive themes by the nurses were change of attitudes over time, and males as caring professionals, while for pregnant women; it was viewed as prior acceptance of male obstetrician. Both the nurses and partners saw the intimate nature of midwifery as a negative factor while only the nurses identified fear of competition and religious belief. Lack of trust was another negative factor identified by the partners/husbands. Professionals and the husbands identified societal versus individual readiness as an ambivalent factor while the pregnant women and professionals saw conditional acceptance as an ambivalent factor. Recommendations made from this study have implications for nursing research, nursing practice, and nursing education. The study could also be helpful for decision makers at different levels in the health care system.