Growing midwifery research in New Zealand.
It was with some trepidation, but also with some excitement that I have taken over the reins as editor of this Journal. Some trepidation, as it is a big job, and I take over from wonderful midwives who have done so well. As I go back over previous issues of the Journal I am impressed by what has been achieved. So thank you to all those who have developed a journal that we can all be proud of. Your hard work has made my job much easier.
It is an exciting prospect for a number of reasons. Midwifery research in New Zealand is at an exciting stage of development and I believe we are in an excellent position to grow a vibrant and unique model of research, just as we have done for practice, for policy and for education. I attended the Joan Donley Research Forum last year and was immensely impressed by the presentations. We had established researchers presenting their work, alongside PhD and Masters candidates and midwives from practice. It was also very exciting to see a national collaboration of researchers proposing to undertake some research utilising the MMPO database and seeking Health Research Council funding. Each time we have a conference or forum, we see an exponential increase in the quality and quantity of New Zealand midwifery research.
I think that it is important to state that research is not only undertaken in universities and it is not just about gaining formal qualifications. The bigger picture of research should involve everyone in the profession. Research is a systematic examination of how and why we undertake our work, in order to improve the quality of care provided to the childbearing women and her family.
So it involves us all. We all need to question what we do, to seek answers to those questions and to translate that new knowledge into practice. This journal is a forum for communicating this and is thus is a powerful tool in growing and developing practice. To this end we have made a small change to the philosophy of the Journal which now includes the aim: 'to support the development and dissemination of New Zealand and international midwifery research'.
This edition of the Journal is a wonderful example of what research can mean and achieve. We can undertake research into the theoretical underpinnings of what we are undertaking and Hope Tupara's exploration of some of the theoretical approaches to decision making and its applicability to midwifery is an example of this. Hope's PhD research is investigating decision making in whanua and she has applied her understanding of the theoretical approaches to decision making in practice.
We welcome Mel Lauti and Dawn Miller to this issue and hope to see more cross-disciplinary research published here. Their research project investigates midwives' and obstetricians' perceptions of their role in relation to family violence. Lorna Davies has produced some of her poetry for us to publish, in the context of other ways of knowing and communicating. It's great to see creativity being explored as a way of growing understanding. Research, in its wider meaning can take many forms and I would welcome contributions that seek creative and intuitive processes. Robin Cronin and Robyn Maude have provided a wonderful example of the translation of research into practice, which is of course the core of what we are about. They have provided a case study of a woman with obstetric cholestatis and have examined the research in relation to this condition.
We are also very pleased to have another contribution from Sarah Stewart in her 'Surfing the Net' column. This time Sarah is sharing with us some information about how to surf the net more effectively. The tools she has described will help us to do our own research. So in one edition we have examples of key aspects of research: theory, research process, a more traditional research project, a creative project, and translation into practice.
We look forward to more submissions from you and are excited about the possibilities. It is great to have Lesley Dixon to work with. Lesley is providing the secretariat support and we are both keen to see the Journal continue to develop. Please feel free to be in contact with either of us and to use the Journal to share perspectives, to open debate and to grow research.