School of Nursing & Health Sciences
11 Airlie Place,
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Andrew Symon is a senior lecturer in the Mother and Infant Research Unit at the University of Dundee in Scotland, and is the co-ordinator for the MSc Midwifery / MSc Maternal and Infant Health. He qualified as a midwife in 1986, and has worked in both Scotland and Kenya. A Social Policy and Law degree (1992) from the University of Edinburgh was followed by a return to clinical midwifery, and a PhD (1997), also from the University of Edinburgh. He has published two books based on this research, and edited two more on clinical risk management.
Andrew is a Fellow of the European Academy of Nursing Science, a member of the International Congress of Midwives’ Research Advisory Network, a Visiting Professor at the Federal University of Ceara in Brazil, and an Adjunct Professor at the University of Technology, Sydney. He was invited as a plenary speaker by the Perinatal Society of Australia and New Zealand in April 2009, and was also invited to address the World Congress of Perinatal Medicine in Berlin in October 2009.
Andrew is the SNM academic lead on the NHS Fife Women and Children’s research group. He has a regular medico-legal column in the British Journal of Midwifery, and also sits on the editorial board.
Research interests include quality of life assessment, models of midwifery care, and nutrition and alcohol issues during and after pregnancy
He currently leads the McTempo research collaboration (Models of Care: the Effects on Maternal and Perinatal outcomes) which is utilising the Quality Maternal and Newborn Care Framework as a lens through which to evaluate care.
This research work originated in an original study comparing outcomes for independent midwives with outcomes in the National Health Service (published in the BMJ in June 2009). The finding of a significantly higher perinatal mortality rate in the IM group led to a follow-up review of instances of perinatal death, and a follow-on study examining preterm birth rates.
He also led a cross-sectional study in 2015 exploring alcohol in pregnancy. This programme is the subject of further grant applications.
Wider professional activities
- Adjunct professor, University of Technology, Sydney
- Visiting professor, Federal University of Ceará, Brazil, 2013 and 2014
- Fellow, European Academy of Nursing Science
- Member, International Congress of Midwives' Research Advisory Network
- External examiner: MSc, King’s College London (2016 - ); MSc Advanced Professional Practice, Queen’s University, Belfast, 2011-2016; MA in Midwifery Practice, Bournemouth University (2006-2010)
- External examiner, PhD thesis, Victoria University of Wellington, New Zealand, July 2006
- Member, Midwifery 20:20 Scottish National Steering Group
- Peer reviewer for Midwifery, Journal of Psychosomatic Obstetrics and Gynaecology, BMC Pregnancy and Childbirth, Journal of Clinical Nursing, Health and Quality of Life Outcomes
- Columnist on medico-legal issues, British Journal of Midwifery
Andrew teaches and has responsibility for curriculum development and delivery at postgraduate and undergraduate levels. He is the Postgraduate Lead for the MSc (Midwifery), MSc Maternal and Infant Health, MSc Nursing (Research) and MSc Health Studies (Research).
He supervises at PhD and at Masters dissertation levels.
Alcohol In Pregnancy; validation of a sensitive diary-based questionare (AlcoPreg)
Funded by Scottish Government
From 1 August 2014 to 31 May 2015
Infant feeding plans from late pregnancy to 16 weeks after delivery: Exploring the demographic, clinical and psychological predictors
From 1st September 2009 to 31st March 2011
WeighWell: Scoping and feasibility study (MRC)
From 1st December 2008 to 1st December 2009
Follow up review of instances of perinatal mortality in independent midwifery
From 1st August 2008 to 31st March 2009
IMA - ISD study
From 1st July 2007 to 31st March 2008
From 1st April 2003 to 31st March 2006
McKenna J, Symon A (2014) Water VBAC: exploring a new frontier for women’s autonomy. Midwifery, 30 (1): e20-e25. doi: 10.1016/j.midw.2013.10.004.
Welsh JV, Symon A (2014) Unique and Proforma Birth Plans: A Qualitative Exploration of Midwives' Experiences. Midwifery 30: 885-891. doi:10.1016/j.midw.2014.03.004
Okwako JM, Symon A (2014) Women’s expectations and experiences of childbirth in a Kenyan public hospital. African Journal of Midwifery, 8 (3): 66-73
Symon, A. G., Whitford, H. & Dalzell, J. (2013) Infant feeding in Eastern Scotland: a longitudinal mixed methods evaluation of antenatal intentions and postnatal satisfaction-the feeding your baby study S In: Midwifery. 29, 7, p. e49-e56 8 p.
Lagan B, Whitford H, Symon A, Dalzell J. (2013) “The midwives aren't allowed to tell you": perceived infant feeding policy restrictions in a formula feeding culture - the Feeding Your Baby study. Midwifery 30: e49-e55. doi:http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.midw.2013.10.017
Khabiri R, Rashidian A, Montazeri A, Symon A, Rahimi Foroushani A, Arab M, Hosein Rashidi B (2013) Validation of the Mother-Generated Index in Iran: A Specific Postnatal Quality of Life Instrument. International Journal of Preventive Medicine, 4 (12): 1371-79
Symon, A., Nagpal, J., Maniecka-Bryła, I., Nowakowska-Głab, A., Rashidian, A., Khabiri, R., Mendes, I., Pinheiro, A. K., de Oliveira, M. & Wu, L. (2013) Cross-cultural adaptation and translation of a quality of life tool for new mothers: a methodological and experiential account from six countries, Journal of Advanced Nursing. 69, 4, p. 970-980 11 p.
Termination of pregnancy: The 'conscientious objection' clause Symon, A. (2013) British Journal of Midwifery. 21, 3, p. 221-222 2 p.
Donnan, P. T., Dalzell, J., Symon, A., Rauchhaus, P., Monteith-Hodge, E., Kellett, G., Wyatt, J. C. &Whitford, H. M. (2013) Prediction of initiation and cessation of breastfeeding from late pregnancy to 16 weeks: the Feeding Your Baby (FYB) cohort study, BMJ Open. 3, 8, e003274
Shades of grey: The blurred boundaries of normality Symon, A. 6 Sep 2012 In: British Journal of Midwifery. 20, 9, p. 676-677 2 p.
Evaluating the reliability, validity, acceptability, and practicality of SMS text messaging as a tool to collect research data: results from the Feeding Your Baby project Whitford, H. M., Donnan, P. T., Symon, A. G., Kellett, G., Monteith-Hodge, E., Rauchhaus, P. & Wyatt, J. C. 2012 In: Journal of the American Medical Informatics Association. 19, 5, p. 744-749 6 p.
Surviving, not thriving: a qualitative study of newly qualified midwives' experience of their transition to practice Fenwick, J., Hammond, A., Raymond, J., Smith, R., Gray, J., Foureur, M., Homer, C. & Symon, A.2012 In: Journal of Clinical Nursing. 21, 13-14, p. 2054-2063 10 p.
Care and environment in midwife-led and obstetric-led units: A comparison of mothers' and birth partners' perceptions Symon, A. G., Dugard, P., Butchart, M., Carr, V. & Paul, J. Dec 2011 In: Midwifery. 27, 6, p. 880-886 7 p.
Developing the midwife's role in public health. Byrom, S. & Symon, A. G. 1 Jan 2011 In: Practising Midwife. 14, 1, p. 16-17 2 p.
Maternal quality of life assessment: the feasibility of antenatal-postnatal follow-up using the Mother-Generated Index Symon, A. & Dobb, B. 2011 In: Journal of Reproductive and Infant Psychology. 29, 2, p. 183-194 12 p.
Examining autonomy’s boundaries: a follow-up review of perinatal mortality cases in UK independent midwifery Symon, A., Winter, C., Donnan, P. T. & Kirkham, M. Dec 2010 In: BIRTH Issues in Perinatal Care.37, 4, p. 280-287 8 p.
Outcomes for births booked under an independent midwife and births in NHS maternity Units: matched comparison study Symon, A., Winter, C., Inkster, M. & Donnan, P. T. 2009 In: BMJ. 338, 9 p.b2060
An exploratory study to assess the acceptability of an antenatal quality-of-life instrument (the Mother-generated Index) Symon, A. G. & Dobb, B. R. 2008 In: Midwifery. 24, 4, p. 442-450 9 p.
Maternity Unit Design: background to multi-site study Symon, A., Paul, J., Butchart, M., Carr, V. & Dugard, P. 2008 In: British Journal of Midwifery. 16, 1,p. 29-33 5 p.
Maternity Unit Design part 3: environmental comfort and control Symon, A., Paul, J., Butchart, M., Carr, V. & Dugard, P. 2008 In: British Journal of Midwifery. 16, 3,p. 167-171 5 p.
Maternity Unit Design part 4: midwives' perceptions of staff facilities Symon, A., Paul, J., Butchart, M., Carr, V. & Dugard, P. 2008 In: British Journal of Midwifery. 16, 4,p. 228-231 4 p.
Maternity Unit Design study part 2: perceptions of space and layout Symon, A., Paul, J., Butchart, M., Carr, V. & Dugard, P. 2008 In: British Journal of Midwifery. 16, 2,p. 110-114 5 p.
Plenary Session invited speaker
Risk, Choice and Control in the Birth Environment; Weight management programmes for overweight new mothers. Perinatal Society of Australia & New Zealand (PSANZ) Annual Congress, Darwin 2009
Obstetric litigation: effects on clinical practice. Annual Conference, Austrian Society of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists, Merano, Italy, 24th June 2000
Risk management in intrapartum care. Iolanthe Midwifery Trust conference, Birmingham, 1st July 1999
Risk management, clinical guidelines, and the threat of litigation. Annual Conference, Royal College of Midwives, Glasgow, 23rd April 1999
Litigation and Changes in Professional Behaviour. Iolanthe Midwifery Trust conference, Edinburgh, 19th March 1998
Perinatal litigation. Annual Conference of the Scottish Executive of the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists, Dunkeld, 6th December 1996
Conference papers – concurrent sessions
Alcohol: Consumption levels and patterns in the first half of pregnancy - a multiple methods evaluation. International Confederation of Midwives Triennial Congress, Prague, June 2014
Alcohol Consumption levels and patterns in the first half of pregnancy: proposed multiple methods evaluation. European Academy of Nursing Science summer conference, Radboud University, Nijmegen, NetherlandsJuly 2013
Preterm birth: Exploration of rates associated with different models of midwifery care - Phase 1: database analysis. Normal Labour and Birth Conference, Grange-over-Sands, England, June 2013
Infant Feeding in Eastern Scotland: a longitudinal evaluation of antenatal intentions and postnatal satisfaction [Pecha Kucha]. Normal Labour and Birth Conference, Hangzhou, China, October 2012
The Mother-Generated Index [MGI]: a methodological and experiential account of adaptation and translation. Normal Labour and Birth Conference, Hangzhou, China, October 2012
Infant Feeding in Eastern Scotland: a longitudinal evaluation of antenatal intentions and postnatal satisfaction. European Academy of Nursing Science summer conference, University of Leuven, Belgium July 2012
Perinatal mortality cases in UK independent midwifery: a thematic analysis of self-reported management and decision-making. First Global Conference of the Doctoral Midwifery Research Society, University of Ulster, October 2010
Planning normal birth in high-risk scenarios: a follow-up review of perinatal mortality cases in UK independent midwifery. Normal Labour and Birth Conference, Vancouver, July 2010
A matched comparison of birth outcomes for independent midwife-supervised births and births in the NHS. 9th Annual Interdisciplinary Research Conference.Trinity College, Dublin, 5th November 2008 / Canadian Association of Midwives Annual Conference, Quebec city, Canada, 14th November 2008
Self-rated ‘no’ and ‘low’ risk pregnancy: A comparison of outcomes for women in obstetric-led and midwife-led units in England. International Confederation of Midwives. Glasgow, June 2008
An Exploratory Study to Assess the Acceptability of an Antenatal Quality of Life Instrument (The Mother-Generated Index). International Confederation of Midwives. Glasgow, June 2008
Perceptions of space and sense of control in labour: a comparison of different types of maternity unit. RCN Research Society’s international annual nursing research conference. Dundee, 1st May 2007
Antenatal assessment of quality of life: an exploratory study. Transforming Healthcare Through Research, Education & Technology. 7th Annual Interdisciplinary Research Conference.Trinity College, Dublin, 10th November 2006
Perceptions and experience of birth space: a questionnaire survey of newly-delivered mothers. Transforming Healthcare Through Research, Education & Technology. 7th Annual Interdisciplinary Research Conference.Trinity College, Dublin, 8th November 2006
Clinical Near Misses in Maternity Care. Transforming Healthcare Through Research, Education & Technology. 6th Annual Interdisciplinary Research Conference.Trinity College, Dublin, 4th November 2005
Postnatal Quality of Life: validation of the Mother-Generated Index / Male Facilitation: Involving Fathers-to-be in Antenatal Education. Nordisk Jordmor Kongres (Nordic Midwives’ Association). Reykjavík, Iceland, May 2004
The Mother-Generated Index (MGI). Validation of a postnatal quality of life assessment tool. 14th International Conference of Psychosomatic Obstetrics and Gynaecology. Edinburgh, May 2004
The effects of the interior environmental design on patients and staff in maternity facilities. RCN Research Society’s international annual nursing research conference, Cambridge, March 2004