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Parent involvement in perinatal mortality review

Project Status In Progress
Organisation Lead University of Queensland
Lead Investigator Fran Boyle
Program Area Implementing Best Practice In Care After Stillbirth And In Subsequent Pregnancies
Topic Data And Novel Interventions To Improve Bereavement Care
Contact Fran Boyle at

Parental engagement in the perinatal review process following stillbirth or newborn death is now strongly advocated by bereaved parents, their support organisations, and many health care professionals. However, this is a novel concept in many countries and health care settings. To gain understanding of current international practices in engaging parents in perinatal mortality reviews this comparative cross-country study examined clinicians reports of the extent to which parents are involved in perinatal review in six high income countries: Australia; New Zealand; UK; Ireland; US; and Canada.
Based on responses from 1104 health care professionals (mainly obstetricians, gynaecologists, midwives and nurses), we found that parent engagement in mortality review after stillbirth was rare. Although parent engagement may hold the key to important lessons for stillbirth prevention, we found few examples of established practices for inviting parents to contribute to reviews. Further understanding of approaches, barriers and enablers is needed.
The study has been published in BJOG: An International Journal of Obstetrics & Gynaecology and can be accessed here.