PSSL building research capacity through audits in respectful care

A workshop on ‘Promoting Respectful Maternity and Neonatal Care through Research and Audit among Nurses’ was organized by the Subcommittee on ‘Research and Audit Practice for Nurses’ of the Perinatal Society of Sri Lanka. It was held on the 27th of April 2023 at the Auditorium of the Family Health Bureau, with the participation of nursing officers from six hospitals in the Western Province.

The World Health Organization defines respectful maternity care as ‘care organized for and provided to all women in a manner that maintains their dignity, privacy, and confidentiality, while ensuring freedom from harm and mistreatment, and enables informed choice and continuous support during labor and childbirth’. All newborns also have the right to be cared respectfully.  Respectful maternal care and neonatal care can vastly contribute to improve the quality of care provided. Research and audit on respectful maternal & neonatal care can support the identification of its current status, in view of carrying out suitable interventions and improving the current conditions.

This workshop was planned to go in line with the theme of the Perinatal Society of Sri Lanka for 2023: ‘Respectful perinatal care with good governance, clinical quality and support for better parenting’.

Thirty-two nursing officers attached to the labour rooms, post-natal wards and neonatal intensive care units of De Soysa Maternity Hospital, Castle Street Hospital for Women, Teaching Hospital Kalutara, Colombo South Teaching Hospital, Colombo North Teaching Hospital and Lady Ridgeway Hospital, attended the workshop. The workshop was planned and organized by the subcommittee, with the expectation of creating awareness on respectful care among the nursing officers, while encouraging them to involve in related audits through awareness on the importance of research and audits, and how to conduct them. Group discussions were included in to the programme with the intention of facilitating the participants to initiate the audits and interventions.

Dr. Susie Perera, President of the Perinatal Society of Sri Lanka, welcomed the participants and explained the objectives of the workshop.  Experts including members of the subcommittee conducted sessions at the workshop. Prof. Hemantha Senanayake, Emeritus Professor of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, Prof. Dulani Gunasekara, Professor of Paediatrics, Dr. Mohommad Rishard, Senior Lecturer in Obstetrics and Gynaecology, Dr. Nishani Lucas, Senior Lecturer in Paediatrics and Dr. Amila Chandrasiri, Consultant Community Physician conducted sessions on respectful care and research. The topics discussed included introduction to respectful care, introduction to research, current situation of respectful maternal care in Sri Lanka, research and audit methodology, statistical analysis and ethics in research. The sessions were followed by the group discussions and presentations.

Pre-tests and post-tests were conducted, and participation certificates were awarded to the attendees.

Council members of the PSSL and members of the subcommittee including Dr. Asiri Hewamalage (Secretary), Dr. Nimesha Gamhewage and Dr. Nimali Wijegoonewardene also participated in the event.

The way forward will be for the participating nursing officers to develop their audits and interventions based on the issues identified in their particular hospitals. The projects will be supervised and supported by the members of the subcommittee.

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PSSL building research capacity through audits in respectful care