What knowledge do neonatal nurses have of the needs of multiple birth families and what do they need to know to deliver excellent care?

The studentships will follow Birmingham City University’s ‘PhD Classic’ Doctoral Training Grant funding model. 

This funding model includes a 36 month fully funded PhD Studentship, in-line with the Research Council values, which comprises a tax-free stipend paid monthly (2024/5 - £19,237) per year and a Full Time Fee Scholarship for up to 3 years, subject to you making satisfactory progression within your PhD. 

PhD Classic studentship opportunities are open to UK, EU and Overseas applicants. All applicants will receive the same stipend irrespective of fee status.

How to Apply

To apply, please complete the project proposal form,ensuring that you quote the project code reference, and then complete the online applicationwhere you will be required to upload your proposal in place of a personal statement.

You will also be required to upload two references, at least one being an academic reference, and your qualification/s of entry (Bachelor/Masters certificate/s and transcript/s).  

Deadline for Applications

The closing date for applications is 23.59 on Tuesday 30th April 2024 for a start date of the 2nd September 2024.

Project Title: What knowledge do neonatal nurses have of the needs of multiple birth families and what do they need to know to deliver excellent care?

Project Code: KNNOW Multiples-39960229

Project Description:

Often, babies born through multiple pregnancy (twins, triplets or more) spend time in the neonatal unit for specialist care. We know from research that multiple birth parents find neonatal care very stressful and that they feel their experiences are different from those of parents of single babies. 

Nurses working in neonatal units spend a lot of time providing care to babies and their families and it is highly likely that they will care for many ‘multiples’ throughout their career. Registered nurses undertake additional education to specialise in caring for new-borns, but it is unclear how much of this education provides information on the specific needs and complications associated with multiple births. 

This project would seek to explore a) what research is already published on this topic and identify gaps in research, b) measure neonatal nurses’ knowledge of multiple births using a questionnaire that has been used in health professionals in a similar manner in Finland, c) talk to neonatal nurses about their experiences of caring for this group. Following this, we will bring together nurses and families to d) jointly design a framework that outlines what neonatal nurses need to know in order to provide effective multiple birth family centred care. 

This project would give a doctoral student the opportunity to learn to apply mixed research methods and generate new knowledge, work as part of a larger international partnership and make a difference to the way that neonatal nurses are educated and families experience care. 

Anticipated Findings and Contribution to Knowledge:

Research Question: What knowledge do neonatal nurses have of the needs of multiple birth families and what do they need to know to deliver excellent care?  

Work plan:

• Literature review using a systematic and rigorous approach and following appropriate academic framework (eg: PRISMA). Final literature search scope to be refined by student. Output 1: Review paper published in peer reviewed journal.

• Survey of UK neonatal nurses to develop a broader understanding of neonatal nurses’ knowledge of multiple birth care. This will make use of a survey instrument devised by supervisor (Heinonen) containing Likert-scale statements and open-ended questions. Responses will be statistically analysed with qualitative data subjected to content analysis. Output 2: Paper presenting findings of the survey.

• Interviews with approximately 20 neonatal nurses using purposeful sampling to include some nurses (approx. 5) new to the role and some (approx. 5) with over 8 years’ experience caring for multiple birth families and those with mixed experience (remaining 10). Transcribed interviews will generate data to be subjected to thematic analysis. Output 3: Qualitative paper describing findings from the interviews.  

• Co-design workshop with neonatal nurses (up to 5) and multiple birth families (up to 5) to review study findings so far and to discover and generate new knowledge together. Output 4: A co-designed framework outlining key areas of knowledge to support multiple birth family centred care. Output 5: Paper describing the context and methods that led to output 4.

Contact (and Director of Studies for this project): Dr Elizabeth Bailey - Elizabeth.Bailey@bcu.ac.uk   

Link to Course Page