gms | German Medical Science

5th International Conference of the German Society of Midwifery Science (DGHWi)

Deutsche Gesellschaft für Hebammenwissenschaft e. V.

13. - 14.02.2020, Bochum

Development of new health provision models by advanced practice midwives – The Master of Science in Midwifery at the Bern University of Applied Sciences (BFH) – an educational concept for the future

Meeting Abstract

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  • corresponding author Eva Cignacco - Berner Fachhochschule, Schweiz
  • Paola Origlia Ikhilor - Berner Fachhochschule, Schweiz

German Association of Midwifery Science. 5th International Conference of the German Association of Midwifery Science (DGHWi). Bochum, 13.-14.02.2020. Düsseldorf: German Medical Science GMS Publishing House; 2020. Doc20dghwiV03

doi: 10.3205/20dghwi04, urn:nbn:de:0183-20dghwi048

This is the English version of the article.
The German version can be found at:

Published: February 11, 2020

© 2020 Cignacco et al.
This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License. See license information at



Background: The increase in chronic diseases, dealing with a diverse clientele, the rapidly developing digitalization in healthcare as well as the demand for interprofessionalism poses complex demands on the midwifery as profession [1]. Within this context institutions of higher education are expected to train midwives as trendsetters in the development of new, integrated healthcare models which can meet the health needs of mothers and their families.

Aim: The goal of the master course in midwifery is to increase awareness of the relevance of current challenges in maternity care. Midwives are prepared to competently deal with current health issues, using innovative healthcare models, by taking on advanced and specialized roles [2].

Methods: The course imparts knowledge and know-how for midwives who wish to prepare to take on duties in modern obstetric and maternity care. Midwifery master students complete interprofessional course modules, such as Ethics, Advanced Practice or Health Policy and Health Economics, conjointly with fellow students of nursing, physiotherapy as well as nutrition and dietetics degrees. Three profession-specific course modules focus on the challenges imposed by complex processes in perinatal care.

Results: The case study of a 5th semester student shows how the course supports the development of the new role of an Advanced Practice Midwife (APM) in the field of perinatal mental health. As an assignment within the profession-specific course module Perinatal Mental Health the student developed a concept draft for an APM role. She presented the concept in her own field of work, where she was charged with further developing and advancing the project. Furthermore, the student focused her Transfer Course modules on the project and deepened her skills in mental health and research skills through work shadowing in a research department and mental health ward, also called “Crisis Intervention Center”, in a university psychiatric clinic. Based on the APN model she finally developed how to establish the APM role in her master thesis. To conduct the needs assessment for mentally ill pregnant women and mothers she is conducting a secondary data analysis of a research project of the Division of Midwifery of BFH.

Relevance: The establishment of integrated and intersectoral healthcare models is currently being discussed in Switzerland [3]. The models require specific skills in healthcare professionals [4], [5]. The interprofessionally oriented master studies at BFH teach midwives to meet the requirements of needs-based, family-centered perinatal healthcare and strengthen its quality.

Recommendations/Conclusions: The interlocking of master studies and practice offers the unique opportunity to further develop innovative healthcare models which are aimed at addressing present and future challenges in healthcare delivery and which are based on research.

Ethics and conflicts of interest: No vote on ethics was obtained. The research was financed by own resources. There are no conflicts of interest.


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Canadian Nurses Association. Advanced Practice Nursing: A Pan-Canadian Framework. 2016 [Zugriff Aug 2019]. Verfügbar unter: External link
Cignacco E, Eicher M. Advanced nursing practice: Die Schweiz ein internationaler Sonderfall? Ärztegesellschaft des Kantons Bern; 2016. p. 11-13.
World Health Organization. Nurses and Midwives: A Vital Resoruce for Health. 2015 [Zugriff Aug 2019]. Verfügbar unter: External link
World Health Organization. Framework for action on interprofessional education and collaborative practice. 2010 [Zugriff Aug 2019]. Verfügbar unter:;jsessionid=C18259AE4C2E708BD833521718C84794?sequence=1 External link