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      Midwives’ perception of advantages of health care at a distance during the COVID-19 pandemic in Switzerland

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          Abstract

          Objective

          : To explore midwives' perceptions of the advantages of telemedicine during the COVID-19 pandemic in Switzerland.

          Design

          : Cross-sectional study based on an online survey using quantitative methods.

          Setting

          : Midwives working in Switzerland.

          Participants

          : Self-selected convenience sample of 630 members of the Swiss

          Federation of Midwives Measurement

          : Open questions on advantages of health care at a distance and workrelated characteristics were used in the online questionnaire. The information was coded and integrative content analysis was applied.

          Findings

          : A good half of the respondents associated telemedicine with either an advantage beyond the pandemic (“Reduced workload”, “Improved health care provision”, “Greater self-care of clients”), while the others saw a pandemic-related advantage (“Protection from COVID-19”, “Maintaining care/counselling in an exceptional situation”), or no advantage at all. Older, more experienced midwives were less likely to see an advantage beyond the pandemic. The motive “Reduced workload” was positively associated with professionals aged younger than 40 years and midwives with up to 14 years of professional experience, and “Protection from COVID-19” was more likely cited by midwives aged 50 and more and by midwives working solely in hospitals. Midwives who stated “Maintaining care” and “Improved health care provision” as motives to embrace telemedicine were more likely to experience health care at a distance as a positive treatment alternative.

          Key conclusion

          : Midwives’ perceptions of the advantages of health care at a distance vary substantially with age and years of professional experience, as well as workrelated characteristics. Further research is necessary to acquire a sound understanding of underlying reasons, including the sources of the general attitudes involved. Implication for practice: Understanding the differences in perceptions of health care at a distance is important in order to improve the work situation of midwives and the health care they provide to women and families. Different sensitivities represent an important source in the ongoing discussion about the future use of telemedicine in health care.

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          Most cited references48

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          Telemedicine and the COVID-19 Pandemic, Lessons for the Future

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            Digital Natives, Digital Immigrants Part 2: Do They Really Think Differently?

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              Investigating healthcare professionals’ decisions to accept telemedicine technology: an empirical test of competing theories

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                Author and article information

                Journal
                Midwifery
                Midwifery
                Midwifery
                Published by Elsevier Ltd.
                0266-6138
                1532-3099
                11 November 2021
                11 November 2021
                : 103201
                Affiliations
                [1 ]Research Unit for Midwifery Science, ZHAW Zurich University of Applied Sciences, Katharina-Sulzer-Platz 9, 8401 Winterthur, Switzerland
                [2 ]ZHAW digital, ZHAW Zurich University of Applied Sciences, Gertrudstrasse 15, 8401 Winterthur, Switzerland
                [3 ]Research Unit for Occupational Therapy, ZHAW Zurich University of Applied Sciences, Katharina-Sulzer-Platz 9, 8401, Winterthur, Switzerland
                Author notes
                [* ] Corresponding author: Research Unit for Midwifery Science, Zurich University of Applied Sciences, Katharina-Sulzer-Platz 9, 8400 Winterthur, Switzerland
                Article
                S0266-6138(21)00276-X 103201
                10.1016/j.midw.2021.103201
                8580889
                34864326
                5de940dd-e732-4c55-91fb-88c93943d2bd
                © 2021 Published by Elsevier Ltd.

                Since January 2020 Elsevier has created a COVID-19 resource centre with free information in English and Mandarin on the novel coronavirus COVID-19. The COVID-19 resource centre is hosted on Elsevier Connect, the company's public news and information website. Elsevier hereby grants permission to make all its COVID-19-related research that is available on the COVID-19 resource centre - including this research content - immediately available in PubMed Central and other publicly funded repositories, such as the WHO COVID database with rights for unrestricted research re-use and analyses in any form or by any means with acknowledgement of the original source. These permissions are granted for free by Elsevier for as long as the COVID-19 resource centre remains active.

                History
                : 28 February 2021
                : 30 October 2021
                : 5 November 2021
                Categories
                Article

                Obstetrics & Gynecology
                telehealth,video conferencing,remote care,perceptions,covid-19,midwifery
                Obstetrics & Gynecology
                telehealth, video conferencing, remote care, perceptions, covid-19, midwifery

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