Data Collection for All of Us!

by Peggy Garland, CNM, MPH
Director of Administrative Section, MANA Division of Research

The MANA Division of Research is pleased to take this opportunity to encourage all midwives to enroll in MANA’s data-collection system. We are now ready to sign up new contributors in large numbers.

Our goal is participation from as many midwives as possible—including you! There’s a reason for this ambitious undertaking. The best way to demonstrate that our outcomes reflect midwifery, as opposed to the practice of a few midwives, is to record data from as close to all our midwives as we can. MANA, as the umbrella organization for midwives, offers a single data-collection system that has the potential to represent the entire population. Researchers who wish to study midwifery will therefore have a solid body of data to access.

If you have been reluctant in the past, now is the time to check us out again. If you enrolled but never got started with data entry, contact us for help. The web-based data-collection system is easy to use, especially after you do a few entries and get a feel for it. The user-support team has learned a lot about how to help people over the past two years. Software changes have made the system even more streamlined. The best news of all is that we are in the process of making the form itself much shorter and more targeted to our Research Agenda. If you are unsure, or have questions, e-mail statistics@mana.org. We would love to give you a tour!

The success of this system has been clear: data is of uniformly excellent quality, complete, and collected according to a fully prospective model for maximum validity. The MANA Division of Research welcomes the participation of additional midwife-researchers and midwife-supportive researchers, and includes as our mission the education of midwives and the mentoring of researchers from within the midwifery community. This is the way forward toward a much larger research presence for
midwifery advocacy and the improvement of practice. A few important points about the strength of this system:

  • MANA’s system is controlled by a membership organization
  • The MANA DOR is open to your participation and transparent in its activities
  • The web-based data-collection system works splendidly, is easy to use, and has received the accolades of public health and research professionals across the country.
  • The system provides midwives, practices, and qualified state organizations with immediate access to your own statistics and data.
  • With the form revision we will be able to add modules to collect particular timely data such as for a VBAC study, which remains the top priority on the DOR’s Research Agenda.

We welcome your questions, and hope that you will join us in promoting the progress of midwifery research by contributing accurate and complete data. Thank you.