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 research program addresses priorities across four major priority areas:

  1. Improving care and outcomes for women with risk factors for stillbirth.
  2. Developing new approaches for identifying women at increased risk of stillbirth (e.g. using biomarkers).

  3. Implementing best practice in care after stillbirth and in subsequent pregnancies.
  4. Improving knowledge of causes and contributors to stillbirth.

By targeting these four priority areas we are systematically addressing The Lancet 2016 series on Ending Preventable Stillbirths call to action and the specific priorities pertinent to Australia (see report via the Our Objectives page).

In recognising that many stillbirths can be prevented by implementing what is already known, a major focus of our research is evidence-based interventions. These interventions will be included in a bundle of care for implementation across maternity hospitals. If your hospital is interested in being part of this project, please contact us.

We are also developing novel methods for identification of the at-risk fetus to improve decision-making on appropriate timing of birth. Through our biomedical expertise, we ensure new discoveries can 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

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

Clinician Education

Goal: to ensure effective implementation of best evidence into clinical practice.

Increasing Community Awareness

Goal: to increase community awareness and engagement to enhance the response and benefit of all CRE initiatives.

Health Economics

Goal: to assess and support implementation of beneficial interventions. The Stillbirth CRE employs a model of development and testing interventions across lead sites in collaboration with clinicians and parents, with a view to implementation across the Women’s Health Care Australia hospital network.