School of Nursing and Midwifery, East Africa
Background: Cultural assessment is critical due to the increased movement and resettlement of people across the globe, and diverse cultural groups in Uganda. This is putting the health care delivery systems serving the communities under pressure to recognize the different attitudes of people towards health and to develop care systems that are effective in meeting diverse needs. However, despite the importance of cultural assessment in nursing literature, little is known about the cultural assessment competence of Ugandan midwives. This study assessed the knowledge, attitude, and practice of midwives in this assessment process.
Methods: A descriptive correlational design was used to generate data for the study from a convenience sample of midwives in three hospitals using a structured questionnaire. Data were analysed using SPSS version 20.
Results: Forty-nine midwives participated in the study. Over half of the respondents [57%, n = 28], demonstrated a positive attitude, however, their knowledge level was low. Almost all the midwives 90% (n = 44) had not been trained on transcultural or cross-cultural midwifery during their basic midwifery programmes. The majority of the midwives cared for at least 1 – 5 mothers a month from a culture different from their own and occasionally (once a month) [65%, n = 32] experienced difficulties or problems attributed to cultural differences. Despite the diversity of the midwives’ clients and their experiences, over half of the midwives [55%, n = 27] reported that they did not record cultural data during the assessment of mothers in labour. Where the data were recorded, it was limited to biographic information such as name, age, religion, tribe, and next of kin. These data were used to plan a client’s care. The major barrier to cultural assessment practice cited by the respondents was lack of time.
Conclusion: Overall, the midwives knowledge level about cultural assessment was low. With a culturally diverse population living in Uganda, providing culturally congruent care to all women will continue to be a challenge and necessity. It is, therefore, recommended that a culture-based curriculum and in-service training on cultural assessment be developed for midwives.
Muwema, M, Drake, K, Friesen, P, & Edwards, G. Cultural Assessment: A Study of Midwives’ Knowledge, Attitude and Self-reported Practice in Uganda. Journal of Asian Midwives. 2019;6(1):2–13.