top of page

Research Definition

Midwifery research is expanding at a rapid pace. Therefore it is necessary to update the 2008 (Sinclair) definition. 

Midwifery research is:


‘A rigorous process of inquiry that aims to provide knowledge of and insights into the efficacy and effectiveness of midwifery practice; its effects on women, babies, parents, family, culture and society. It includes research on the education and training of midwives, developing and testing midwifery theory, multidisciplinary team working, the use of information and communication technologies, the organisation and delivery of maternity services, and employment conditions and terms affecting midwives’ working lives'. (Sinclair 2010 updated 2021)

Two new practical elements were added in 2021 to expand and update the definition which link research to practice. These were:

1. Midwifery research can be undertaken by any suitably trained researcher

2. Mothers should be invited to join research teams as co-producers of quality maternity research. (Sinclair DMRS  2021)

(Updated 16th August 2021)

10 Steps to high quality midwifery research (Sinclair M 2021)

bottom of page