Background: There is currently a gap in the evidence on how working practices, such as the ability to take rest breaks, finish on time or intershift recovery influence outcomes. Aim: The aim of this study was to explore the association of individual characteristics, work-related factors and working practices on emotional wellbeing outcomes of UK midwives. Methods: An online cross-sectional survey collated data between September and October 2020. Outcomes explored were work-related stress, burnout, being pleased with their standard of care, job satisfaction and thoughts about leaving midwifery. Univariate analysis identified the explanatory variables to be investigated using multivariable logistic regression. Findings: A total of 2347 midwives from the four UK nations completed the survey. No standard approach in monitoring safe staffing or in-shift or intershift recovery was found. There were high levels of work-related stress, burnout and thoughts about leaving midwifery, and low levels of job satisfaction, with just half of midwives reporting they were satisfied with the standard of care they could provide. Multivariable regression revealed that working practices variables, generally related to impeded recovery or compounded by staffing issues, had a significant association with poorer emotional wellbeing outcomes. Conclusion: This research has demonstrated an association between impeded recovery, including a lack of formal methods to monitor this, and poorer emotional wellbeing outcomes, and that staffing levels are highly influential in determining outcomes. There is a need to re-evaluate current approaches to job design and how midwives are expected to work.

Original languageEnglish
Article number103961
Pages (from-to)1-33
Number of pages33
Early online date3 Mar 2024
Publication statusPublished - May 2024


  • Humans
  • United Kingdom
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Adult
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • Female
  • Job Satisfaction
  • Middle Aged
  • Nurse Midwives/psychology
  • Personnel Staffing and Scheduling/statistics & numerical data
  • Burnout, Professional/psychology
  • Midwifery/methods


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