Today we were informed by Razi International Medical Journal that the paper ‘Management capacity in the Ministry of Public Health (MoPH) Afghanistan: Political and socio-cultural issues’  is finally out in print (i.e. online). I wrote a BU Research Blog (see copy of this here!) on May 1st to announce that this paper had accepted by the editors in late April. It has taken another four months at the editorial office to sort the publication details.
The lead author is Dr. Shaqaieq Ashrafi Dost, and this interesting paper is part of the dissemination of her Bournemouth University PhD research. The paper is in an Open Access journal and hence freely available online to read.
Prof. Edwin van Teijlingen
Centre for Midwifery & Women’s Health (CMWH)
Ashrafi Dost, S., Arnold, R., van Teijlingen, E. (2023). Management capacity in theAfghan Ministry of Public Health pre-Taliban: A mixed-methods study of political and socio-cultural issues. Razi International Medical Journal, 3(1): 9-18. DOI:10.56101/rimj.v3i1.67
Congratulation to Dr. Rachel Arnold and her Centre for Midwifery & Women’s Health research team on the publication yesterday of their paper ‘I might have cried in the changing room, but I still went to work’. Maternity staff balancing roles, responsibilities, and emotions of work and home during COVID-19: An appreciative inquiry . This paper focuses on how to support staff and enhance their well-being in a small UK maternity service. The underpinning methodological approach is appreciative inquiry using interviews with 39 maternity staff and four group discussions exploring meaningful experiences, values and factors that helped their well-being.
The key findings are that maternity staff members were highly motivated, managing a complex melee of emotions and responsibilities including challenges to professional confidence, mental health, family situation, and conflict between work-life roles. Despite staff shortages, a demanding workload, professional and personal turmoil, and the pandemic participants still found meaning in their work and relationships. The authors go on to argue for a ‘whole person’ approach, since this approach provided insight into the multiple stressors and emotional demands staff faced. It also revealed staff resourcefulness in managing their professional and personal roles. They invested in relationships with women but were also aware of their limits – the need to be self-caring, employ strategies to switch-off, set boundaries or keep a protective distance. Overall, the paper concludes hat staff’s well-being initiatives, and research into well-being, would benefit from adopting a holistic approach that incorporates home and family with work. Research on emotion regulation strategies could provide insights into managing roles, responsibilities, and the emotional demands of working in maternity services. Emotion regulation strategies could be included in midwifery and obstetric training.
This paper was proceeded by a more methodological paper on the application of Appreciative Inquiry in this study .
- Arnold, R., Way, S., Mahato, P., van Teijlingen, E. (2023) “I might have cried in the changing room, but I still went to work”. Maternity staff managing roles, responsibilities, and emotions of work and home during COVID-19: an Appreciative Inquiry, Women & Birth (online first)
- Arnold, R., Gordon, C., Way, S., Mahato, P., van Teijlingen, E. (2022) Why use Appreciative Inquiry? Lessons learned during COVID-19 in a UK maternity service, European Journal of Midwifery 6 (May): 1-7.
Yesterday FHSS graduate Dr. Shaqaieq Ashrafi Dost heard from Razi International Medical Journal the the paper from her Ph.D. study had been accepted for publication. Her paper ‘Management capacity in the Ministry of Public Health (MoPH) Afghanistan: Political and socio-cultural issues’ is based on a mixed-methods case-study was conducted with staff at the Afghan Ministry of Public Health. The Ph.D. study explores MoPH’s management capacity. Interviews were conducted with 12 senior staff and qualitative data were analysed thematically. A quantitative survey, covering directors of 30 departments, was analysed using descriptive statistics.
The paper reports that management capacity was generally weak. Key appointments including directors were subject to political interference and many directors appointed by politicians lacked the skills to manage well. Consequently, those directors were not able to support employees appropriately or to create a healthy work environment. The respondents reported that there were strong socio-cultural influences such as nepotism and favouritism. Often employees believed they were not treated consistently or fairly. This was compounded by overly complex administrative systems. The authors concluded that the Afghan government needs to appoint competent and committed staff who can recognize/address the gaps in the functioning of the Ministry, especially the negative political and socio-cultural practices that undermine effectiveness.The reader needs to bear in mind that this Ph.D. study was conducted prior to the 2021 takeover by the Taliban. Putting the paper’s conclusion in perspective.
Razi International Medical Journal founded in 2021 is a peer-reviewed scholarly journal from Afghanistan that aims to impact public health and global health and distributed internationally. The journal is Open Access and published in electronic and paper-based format twice a year, and there is no article publishing charge (APCs).
Congratulations to Dr. Rachel Arnold working at RDS on the publication of the paper ‘Writing and publishing a reflective paper: Three case studies’ in the inaugural issue of Welhams Academic Journal
which an Open Access journal 
. All authors of this new paper are affiliated with the Centre For Midwifery, Maternal & Perinatal Health (CMMPH). Both Dr. Rachel Arnold and Dr. Preeti Mahato used to work in CMMPH, and both are Visiting Faculty now. Jillian Ireland, Professional Midwifery Advocate at Poole Maternity Hospital, UHD (University Hospitals Dorset NHS Foundation Trust) is also one of CMMPH’s Visiting Faculty.
This publication is the latest in a long series of outputs focusing on academic writing and publishing written by staff in the Faculty of Health & Social Sciences [2-20].
Prof. Edwin van Teijlingen
- Arnold, R., Ireland, J., Mahato, van Teijlingen, E. (2022) Writing and publishing a reflective paper: Three case studies, Welhams Acad J, 1(1): 4-11. [the whole journal is online, not just the individual paper: Welhans book.indd (angels.edu.np) ].
- van Teijlingen, E., Hundley, V., Sathian, B., Simkhada, P., Robinson, J., Banerjee, I. (2022). The Art of the Editorial. Nepal J Epidemiol 12(1):1135–38.
- Wasti, S.P. Regmi, P.R., Simkhada, P., van Teijlingen, E., Hundley, V. (2022) Writing a PhD Proposal, In: Wasti, S.P., van Teijlingen, E., Simkhada, P.P., Hundely, V. & Shreeh, K. (Eds.) Academic Writing and Publishing in Health & Social Sciences, Kathmandu, Nepal: Himal Books: 176-183.
- Harvey, O., Taylor, A., Regmi, P.R., van Teijlingen, E. (2022) Struggling to reply to reviewers: Some advice for novice researchers. Health Prospect, 21(2):19-22.
- Harvey, O., van Teijlingen, A., Regmi, P.R., Ireland, J., Rijal, A., van Teijlingen, E.R. (2022) Co-authors, colleagues, and contributors: Complexities in collaboration and sharing lessons on academic writing Health Prospect 21(1):1-3.
- van Teijlingen, E.R., Dhakal Adhikari, S., Regmi, P.R., van Teijlingen, A., Aryal, N., Panday, S. (2021). Publishing, identifiers & metrics: Playing the numbers game. Health Prospect, 20(1). https://doi.org/10.3126/hprospect.v20i1.37391
- Adhikari, S. D., van Teijlingen, E. R., Regmi, P. R., Mahato, P., Simkhada, B., & Simkhada, P. P. (2020). The Presentation of Academic Self in The Digital Age: The Role of Electronic Databases. International J Soc Sci Management, 7(1), 38-41. https://doi.org/10.3126/ijssm.v7i1.27405
- van Teijlingen, E, Hundley, V. (2002) Getting your paper to the right journal: a case study of an academic paper, J Advanced Nurs 37(6): 506-11.
- Pitchforth, E, Porter M, Teijlingen van E, Keenan Forrest, K. (2005) Writing up & presenting qualitative research in family planning & reproductive health care, J Fam Plann Reprod Health Care 31(2): 132-135.
- van Teijlingen, E, Simkhada, PP, Rizyal A (2012) Submitting a paper to an academic peer-reviewed journal, where to start? (Guest Editorial) Health Renaissance 10(1): 1-4.
- van Teijlingen, E, Simkhada. PP, Simkhada, B, Ireland J. (2012) The long & winding road to publication, Nepal J Epidemiol 2(4): 213-215 http://nepjol.info/index.php/NJE/article/view/7093/6388
- Hundley, V, van Teijlingen, E, Simkhada, P (2013) Academic authorship: who, why and in what order? Health Renaissance 11(2):98-101 www.healthrenaissance.org.np/uploads/Download/vol-11-2/Page_99_101_Editorial.pdf
- Simkhada, P., van Teijlingen E., Hundley, V., Simkhada, BD. (2013) Writing an Abstract for a Scientific Conference, Kathmandu Univ Med J 11(3): 262-65. http://www.kumj.com.np/issue/43/262-265.pdf
- Simkhada P, van Teijlingen E, Hundley V. (2013) Writing an academic paper for publication, Health Renaissance 11(1):1-5. www.healthrenaissance.org.np/uploads/Pp_1_5_Guest_Editorial.pdf
- van Teijlingen, E., Ireland, J., Hundley, V., Simkhada, P., Sathian, B. (2014) Finding the right title for your article: Advice for academic authors, Nepal J Epidemiol 4(1): 344-347.
- van Teijlingen E., Hundley, V., Bick, D. (2014) Who should be an author on your academic paper? Midwifery 30: 385-386.
- Hall, J., Hundley, V., van Teijlingen, E. (2015) The journal editor: friend or foe? Women & Birth 28(2): e26-e29.
- Sathian, B., Simkhada, P., van Teijlingen, E., Roy, B, Banerjee, I. (2016) Grant writing for innovative medical research: Time to rethink. Med Sci 4(3):332-33.
- Pradhan, AK, van Teijlingen, ER. (2017) Predatory publishing: a great concern for authors, Med Sci 5(4): 43.
- van Teijlingen, E (2004), Why I can’t get any academic writing done, Medical Sociol News 30(3): 62-63. britsoc.co.uk/media/26334/MSN_Nov_2004.pdf
Yesterday a colleague in Nepal notified me that the publication of our latest paper has been delayed. This paper ‘Writing and publishing a reflective paper: Three case studies’  is another method-type paper on aspects of academic writing and publishing published by BU academics and FHSS Visiting Faculty. A delay in getting in print is not uncommon in academic publishing, but usually the justification is that reviewers are sitting on the manuscript and not returning their report, or the journal editor can’t find academics to volunteer as reviewers, or the editor is ill. Occasionally the journal has too few papers to publish the next issue yet with your accepted paper in it, but this time the excuse was ever rarer.
We had submitted our paper to a brand new journal. A research collaborator in Kathmandu had asked me to submit a paper for the journal’s inaugural issue, which we did as we saw this a part of our role in academic capacity building in Nepal. The delay in publishing this journal is the shortage of ISSN [International Standard Serial Number] numbers in Nepal. Every good academic journal across the globe will have registered for a unique ISSN number . Apparently the office issuing ISSN numbers in Paris head office has not delivered ISSNs to Nepal, and according to my colleague “many journals are waiting for a number …It’s not good news for the academic writers and scholars but we’re really sorry for late due to the unavailability of ISSN.”
Prof. Edwin van Teijlingen
Centre for Midwifery, Maternal and Perinatal Health
- Arnold, R., Ireland, J., Mahato, P., van Teijlingen, E., (2022) Writing and publishing a reflective paper: Three case studies, Welham College Journal (accepted for publication)
- van Teijlingen, E.R., Dhakal Adhikari, S., Regmi, P.R., van Teijlingen, A., Aryal, N., Panday, S. (2021). Publishing, identifiers & metrics: Playing the numbers game. Health Prospect, 20(1).
Today Sunday 21st November was a midwifery dominated day today. This lunchtime a interdisciplinary team from CMMPH (Centre for Midwifery, Maternal & Perinatal Health) at BU and the University of Exeter submitted a research proposal to the ICM (International Confederation of Midwives) on Midwife-Led Birthing Centres in Low- and Middle-Income Countries. As a personal observation: whoever thought that setting the submission deadline for a Sunday was a good idea has no respect for researchers’ work-life balance!
This afternoon many of us attended the March with Midwives vigils which were held nationwide in the UK to highlight issues with midwifery staffing and working conditions. The March with Midwives vigil took place in 50 towns and cities, as a vigil to make the general public and politicians aware about the maternity crisis. In Poole Park it attracted over fifty people.
Prof. Edwin van Teijlingen
Dr. Rachel Arnold’s recent paper in BMC Pregnancy & Childbirth was highlighted in a blog promoted by the publisher. The paper ‘Villains or victims? An ethnography of Afghan maternity staff and the challenge of high quality respectful care‘ reports on the everyday lives of maternal healthcare providers working in a tertiary maternity hospital in Kabul, Afghanistan (1). BMC Pregnancy & Childbirth is an Open Access journal so the paper is available free of charge to anybody in Afghanistan (and elsewhere) with an internet connection. The aim was to understand the staff’s notions of care, their varying levels of commitment to providing care for women in childbirth, and the obstacles and dilemmas that affected standards, and thereby gain insight into their contributions to respectful maternity care, whether as ‘villains’ or as ‘victims.’
Dr. Arnold is Postdoctoral Midwifery Researcher in the Centre for Midwifery, Maternal & Perinatal Health (CMMPH). This is the third paper from Rachel’s excellent PhD project, the previous two papers appeared in BJOG and Social Science & Medicine (2-3).
Click here for BMC Blog post:
Villains or victims? The role of maternity staff in decreasing or enhancing respectful care
- Arnold, R., van Teijlingen, E., Ryan, K., Holloway, I. (2019) Villains or victims? An ethnography of Afghan maternity staff and the challenge of high quality respectful care, BMC Pregnancy & Childbirth 19 :307 https://rdcu.be/bPqlj
- Arnold R., van Teijlingen E, Ryan K., Holloway I. (2015) Understanding Afghan health care providers: Qualitative study of culture of care in Kabul maternity hospital, BJOG 122: 260-267.
- Arnold, R., van Teijlingen, E., Ryan, K., Holloway, I. (2018) Parallel worlds: an ethnography of care in an Afghan maternity hospital, Social Science & Medicine 126:33-40.