What is the relationship between maternity care provider type and immunization status?

A midwife examines a pregnant woman in her home

A growing proportion (21% as of October 2016) of women in British Columbia (BC) choose Registered Midwives as their primary health care provider for prenatal, birth and postpartum care. As such, midwives will play an increasingly important role in informing women about health choices for themselves and their babies.

Data access has been approved for a study which aims to advance existing knowledge about midwives’ beliefs and practices regarding prenatal and pediatric vaccinations. The project is being led by BC Centre for Disease Control Immunization Program Director and UBC Professor Monika Naus, Epidemiologist Samara David, and UBC Associate Professor of Pediatrics Julie Bettinger. The study is part of a larger project that includes a survey of midwives, called ‘Exploring vaccination knowledge, attitudes, beliefs, and practices of midwives in British Columbia’.

“By comparing vaccination uptake by provider types across BC using existing data, we will be able to assess whether there are significant differences in immunization uptake among women using Registered Midwives for their care, compared to other health care providers,” says Ms. David. “This will be further informed by our in-depth representative survey of BC-based midwives, which provided detailed information on their own knowledge levels and beliefs regarding vaccination safety and utility, their perceived scope of practice regarding vaccinations, who they trust as a source of information about vaccinations, and their reasons for discussing vaccinations with clients.”

The team hopes that together, these data will provide consequential evidence to inform the promotion of vaccination among BC midwives and inform the development of educational and/or training tools.

The project is funded by the BC Immunization Committee.

PopData will link data sets from Perinatal Services BC and BC Ministry of Health with data from the BC Centre for Disease Control and Vancouver Coastal Health Authority for the project.