Competencies and skills for remote and rural maternity care: a review of the literature

Jillian Ireland, Helen Bryers, Edwin Roland Van Teijlingen, Janet Stephen Tucker, Vanora Hundley, Jane Farmer, F Harris, Alice Marian Kiger, Jane Lindsay Caldow

Research output: Contribution to conferenceUnpublished paperpeer-review


AIM: This paper reports a review of the literature on skills, competencies and continuing professional development necessary for sustainable remote and rural maternity care.

BACKGROUND: There is a general sense that maternity care providers in rural areas need specific skills and competencies. However, how these differ from generic skills and competencies is often unclear.

METHODS: Approaches used to access the research studies included a comprehensive search in relevant electronic databases using relevant keywords (e.g. 'remote', 'midwifery', 'obstetrics', 'nurse-midwives', education', 'hospitals', 'skills', 'competencies', etc.). Experts were approached for (un-)published literature, and books and journals known to the authors were also used. Key journals were hand searched and references were followed up. The original search was conducted in 2004 and updated in 2006.

FINDINGS: Little published literature exists on professional education, training or continuous professional development in maternity care in remote and rural settings. Although we found a large literature on competency, little was specific to competencies for rural practice or for maternity care. 'Hands-on' skills courses such as Advanced Life Support in Obstetrics and the Neonatal Resuscitation Programme increase confidence in practice, but no published evidence of effectiveness of such courses exists.

CONCLUSION: Educators need to be aware of the barriers facing rural practitioners, and there is potential for increasing distant learning facilitated by videoconferencing or Internet access. They should also consider other assessment methods than portfolios. More research is needed on the levels of skills and competencies required for maternity care professionals practising in remote and rural areas
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages16
Publication statusPublished - 2008
EventICM Conference - Glasgow, United Kingdom
Duration: 5 Jun 2008 → …


ConferenceICM Conference
Country/TerritoryUnited Kingdom
Period5/06/08 → …


  • Ambulances
  • Clinical Competence
  • Communication
  • Humans
  • Inservice Training
  • Internet
  • Maternal Health Services
  • Maternal-Child Nursing/education
  • Midwifery/education
  • Personnel Selection
  • Rural Health Services
  • Rural Population
  • Scotland


Dive into the research topics of 'Competencies and skills for remote and rural maternity care: a review of the literature'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this