Research Program

In recognising that many stillbirths can be prevented by implementing what is already known, a major focus will be to target evidence-based interventions.

The Stillbirth CRE will undertake a research program addressing priorities across four major priority areas:

  1. Improving understanding and decision-making for women with risk factors
  2. Developing novel approaches to identify women at increased risk
  3. Implementing best practice in care after stillbirth and subsequent pregnancies
  4. Improving knowledge of causes and contributors to stillbirth

By targeting these four priority areas we will systematically address The Lancet 2016 series on Ending Preventable Stillbirths call to action and the specific priorities pertinent to Australia. In recognising that many stillbirths can be prevented by implementing what is already known, a major focus will be to target evidence-based interventions. These interventions will be included in a bundle of care for implementation across maternity hospitals. We are currently looking for sites to join in this important program of work. If your hospital is interested in being part of this project, please contact us.

Further, we will develop novel methods for identification of the at-risk fetus to improve decision-making on appropriate timing of birth. Through our biomedical expertise, we will ensure new discoveries will be readily translated into practice to further reduce the risk of stillbirth.

Cross-cutting themes

Major cross-cutting themes of the Stillbirth CRE include: 

Indigenous Health

To tackle the disproportionately high incidence of stillbirth among Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander women through comprehensive efforts that address causes, prevention and care. An Indigenous Advisory Committee, which widens our current Queensland-based Indigenous Reference Group, will provide guidance on Indigenous aspects of stillbirth research, including consultation and engagement with Indigenous women, communities and health care providers.  Indigenous identifiers will be included in all relevant data collections, as advised by the CRE’s Indigenous Advisory Committee.

Clinician Education

To ensure effective implementation of best evidence into practice.

Increasing Community Awareness

Increasing community awareness and engagement to enhance the reaction and benefit of all CRE initiatives.

Health Economics

To assess and support implementation of beneficial interventions. The Stillbirth CRE will employ a model of development and testing interventions across lead sites in collaboration with clinicians and parents followed by wider implementation across the Women’s Health Care Australia hospital network.