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Volunteering in an emergency project in response to the COVID-19 pandemic crisis: the experience of Italian midwives.

Fumagalli, S., Iannuzzi, L., Toffolo, G., Anghileri, I., Losurdo, A., Rovelli, N., Riva, M. A. and Nespoli, A., 2023. Volunteering in an emergency project in response to the COVID-19 pandemic crisis: the experience of Italian midwives. Public Health, 218, 75-83.

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DOI: 10.1016/j.puhe.2023.02.020


Objectives During the first wave of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Region of Lombardy in Italy and its Regional Emergency Service (AREU) created a dedicated 24/7 free phone service to help the Lombard population. After an invitation from their professional order, local midwives collaborated on the AREU project as volunteers to address the needs of women from antenatal to postnatal periods. The aim of this article was to explore the experiences of midwives who volunteered in the AREU project. Study design A qualitative study using an interpretative phenomenology approach (IPA). Methods The experiences of midwives volunteering in AREU (N = 59) were explored using audio diaries. Written diaries were also offered as an alternative. Data collection took place between March and April 2020. Midwives were provided with semi-structured guidance that indicated the main areas of interest of the study. The diaries were thematically analysed following a temporal criterion; a final conceptual framework was created from emerging themes and subthemes. Results The following five themes were identified: (1) choosing to join the volunteer project; (2) the day-to-day difficulties; (3) strategies to cope with the unexpected; (4) professional relationships; and (5) reflecting on the personal experience. Conclusions This is the first study to investigate the experiences of Italian midwives who volunteered in a public health project during a pandemic/epidemic. According to participants, taking part in the volunteer activities was informed by and impacted on both their professional and personal lives. Overall, the experiences of midwives who volunteered in AREU were positive and of humanitarian value. Providing midwifery services within a multidisciplinary team for the benefit of public health represented both a challenge and personal/professional enrichment.

Item Type:Article
Uncontrolled Keywords:Midwifery; experience; volunteering; pandemic; audio diary; phenomenology
Group:Faculty of Health & Social Sciences
ID Code:38311
Deposited By: Symplectic RT2
Deposited On:15 Mar 2023 14:16
Last Modified:28 Feb 2024 01:08


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