Course particpants and researchers posing on a lawn.
Course particpants and researchers.

Training course in person-centred care is launched by GPCC researchers in the DR Congo


A training course in person-centred care has been carried out in the Democratic Republic of the Congo by researchers at The University of Gothenburg Center for Person-centred Care (GPCC) and the Institute of Health and Care Sciences. The course participants had various professions such as midwives, nurses and physicians. The researchers can report on a very positive reception and great commitment, with the potential to have a great future impact.

A three-day training in person-centred care has been carried out at the Université Evangelique en Afrique (UEA) located in Bukavu in the eastern part of the DR Congo. The training was attended by approximately 35 people with key functions at the university or at one of five selected regional hospitals. From UNFPA (the United Nations Population Fund) in Congo, two responsible midwives, who work in other regions of the country, participated. In addition, civil society and the local midwives association were represented by one person each.

The training course, which in English is called Mutual Meetings, was developed by GPCC. It has been translated into French and is called "Formation en soins centrés sur la personne". The project to translate and deliver the training has been funded by the GPCC. It is led by Malin Bogren, midwife and Associate professor in reproductive health and perinatal health at the Institute of Health and Care Sciences, University of Gothenburg.

- We were met by an overwhelmingly positive response and a fantastic commitment, which we believe will affect the maternal and newborn care on site in the future, says Malin Bogren. This makes us hopeful that a person-centred approach will begin to be applied in care and education in the DR Congo in the future.

Great need for improved midwifery education in the DR Congo

DR Congo is a country affected by conflict where maternal and newborn mortality are among the highest in the world, and where sexual violence is widespread. In eastern DR Congo there is a great shortage of midwives with training according to international standards, which according to the World Health Organization (WHO), is a success factor for reducing child and maternal mortality and improving health.

- By integrating person-centred care into a midwifery education in a French-speaking low-income environment, we can contribute to an improved competence for the midwives of the future and thus the quality of the care, says Malin Bogren. This is expected to contribute substantially to new knowledge development that supports and promotes the health of mothers and newborns.

The overall aim of the project is to implement and evaluate an educational intervention in person-centred care, as well as to evaluate its impact on care at the five hospitals that make up the midwifery students' internships. Person-centred care has been defined as a separate profile in a midwifery education at the University UEA in eastern DR Congo.

Group work, course participants sit around a table and work.
Group work

Group work with three modules for three days with Mutual Meetings

Mutual Meetings is an educational tool for training in, and implementation of, person-centred care for all professional groups within healthcare and care. Mutual Meetings consists of three modules based on the GPCC ethical model, which includes the key concepts of partnership, patient story and documentation.

The Congolese participants worked in groups with mixed skills and functions among the participants. With the help of the training, they were guided step by step through theory, discussion and exercises. After the three training days, the participants gave feedback on the content, layout, language use and usability of the course, as part of adapting it to the local context and thus being able to apply a person-centred approach in their daily work.

The training to be culturally adapted to local needs

The next step is to integrate the participants' views into a final French version of Mutual Meetings. After this, we will develop a completely new training module according to the pedagogy of Mutual Meetings, which focuses on person-centred care for people with complications after sexual violence.

- As a research group, we also take with us experiences that can be used in other research projects where translation and cultural adaptation are needed to be able to implement an intervention, states Malin Bogren. Mutual Meetings is a completely free educational and person-centred tool that can be easily used in several countries and also spread GPCC's ethical model of person-centred care.

Two course participants show their certificates. One of the course leaders is standing between them.
Certificate ceremony.

The research group consists of:

Malin Bogren, Midwife and Associate Professor in reproductive health and perinatal health at the Institute of Health and Care Sciences, University of Gothenburg

Ewa Carlsson Lallo, PhD, Nurse and Lecturer, at the Academy for Care, Working Life and Welfare at the University of Borås

Marie Berg, Midwife and Professor, The Institute of Health and Care Sciences, Gothenburg University, and Faculty of Medicine and Community Health, Evangelical University in Africa, Bukavu D.R. Congo

Urban Berg, MD, PhD, Faculty of Medicine and Community Health, Evangelical University in Africa, Bukavu D.R. Congo

Alumeti Desiré, MD, PhD, Dean at Faculty of Medicine and Community Health, Evangelical University in Africa, Bukavu D.R. Congo

Frida Temple, Midwife, Midwife specialist, UNFPA Rwanda

Read more about the project:  Implementation and evaluation of an educational intervention in person-centred care in a midwife education program in DR Congo

More information about the training course Mutual Meetings.