International Journal of
Nursing and Midwifery

  • Abbreviation: Int. J. Nurs. Midwifery
  • Language: English
  • ISSN: 2141-2456
  • DOI: 10.5897/IJNM
  • Start Year: 2009
  • Published Articles: 173

Full Length Research Paper

Italian midwives attitude toward complementary and alternative medicine

Isabella Neri
  • Isabella Neri
  • Department of Mother-Infant, University of Modena, Italy.
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Maria Cristina Gemmi
  • Maria Cristina Gemmi
  • Territorial Service, Reggio Emilia, Italy.
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Alba Ricchi
  • Alba Ricchi
  • Department of Mother-Infant, University of Modena and Reggio Emilia, Italy
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Elisabetta Romei
  • Elisabetta Romei
  • Territorial Service, Reggio Emilia, Italy.
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  •  Received: 25 June 2016
  •  Accepted: 20 January 2017
  •  Published: 28 February 2017


The growing interest in Complementary and Alternative Medicine (CAM) applies also to the field of obstetrics and this encouraged midwives to support the application during pregnancy and delivery.  Application of CAM is complete according to the skills and the aims of the midwife’s professional profile, representing as it does a safe non pharmacological approach which endorses both the autonomy of women and midwives’ professional autonomy. The aim of the present study is to investigate the midwives attitude to CAM application in Emilia-Romagna region located in the North-Italy. This observational study investigated by a written questionnaire 525 midwifes referred to the hospitals and freelancers of Modena, Reggio Emilia, Forlì Rimini and Cesena cities.  In such sample, a high involvement of midwives in CAM reaching the 90 to 100% either for hospital/territorial workers or freelancers was observed.  Breech presentation and labour management represents the most frequent indication followed by hyperemesis gravidarum. The methods most frequently applied are acupression and moxibustion, homeopathy, relaxation and massage and osteopathy. These midwives were also interviewed about the CAM training expectations: the opportunity to receive teaching during degree is wished by 70% of them, whereas 30% preferred a post-degree training. This represents a preliminary study facing for the first time the attitude toward CAM in Italy, even if the sample size do not allow to reach strong conclusion, some considerations could be drawn: the high compliance showed by midwives should stimulate the increase of CAM offered in public health services and the request also for a qualified training during degree or post-degree studies should promote an enlargement of teaching offer.

Key words: Complementary alternative medicine midwives, training.