Call for midwife participation: Strategies to improve iodine status in early pregnancy: a qualitative study into the knowledge and views of midwives

By Dr Lucy Kayes on 09 March 2022

My name is Lucy Kayes; I am a first year PhD student in the Centre of Public Health at Queen’s University Belfast and a clinical trainee in Endocrinology and Diabetes in Northern Ireland.

For my PhD I am researching iodine nutrition in pregnancy, focusing on ways of increasing iodine intake in pregnancy through a randomised control trial with pregnant women in Belfast, as well as how to improve iodine knowledge, as it has been reported that patient and healthcare professional knowledge of iodine is low. I chose this topic because iodine deficiency is a current public health concern in the UK and is of particular importance during pregnancy when iodine requirements increase.  Iodine is required for the production of thyroid hormones which are essential for foetal brain development and iodine deficiency in pregnancy has been linked to reduced IQ in offspring. Recent studies within the UK have shown that pregnant women are iodine deficient.

I am seeking qualified midwives, and those involved in midwife education, based within the UK, to participate in a one-to-one interview remotely via Microsoft Teams. This will take approximately 30 minutes to complete and will explore your experience of nutrition education as a student and since qualifying, the barriers to providing nutrition advice to women, including changes to your clinical practice during the COVID-19 pandemic, and your existing knowledge, if any, of iodine. The interview will be recorded to allow a transcript to be generated. The transcript will be anonymous and this will be used for analysis, the recording will then be deleted.

Recruitment will continue until data saturation is reached (i.e., no new information is being generated from continued interviews), it is hoped that this will be completed by August 2021 but may continue if new themes are emerging from interviews. 

Your contribution will be greatly appreciated and could help identify gaps in the current undergraduate midwife curriculum as well as the difficulties midwives are facing when delivering nutrition advice. If you would like more information or are willing to participate, please get in touch via email at: