Global Bereavement care - towards consensus

  • Merriel, Abi (Co-Investigator)
  • Shakespeare, Clare (Co-Investigator)

Project Details


Stillbirths occur too often with one in two hundred babies being born dead. Stillbirth has a profound impact on women, families, communities and healthcare workers. Systematic reviews of care after stillbirth in low, middle and high-income countries have shown comparable findings in the experiences of women, their families and healthcare workers after stillbirth.

The 2016 Lancet Ending Preventable Stillbirth Series called for a ‘global consensus on a package of care after a death in pregnancy or childbirth… for the affected family, community and caregiver in all settings’

Our aim is to develop global consensus on a set of feasible, evidence-based, and agreed core principles for bereavement care after stillbirth.

Study design:

A bereavement care workshop was held at the International Stillbirth Alliance (ISA) conference in September 2017. At this meeting, priorities for global stillbirth bereavement care were discussed, and the idea of developing a global consensus was suggested. At the meeting nine evidence-based, core recommendations were identified which could form the basis of a global consensus on care provision.

A modified policy Delphi consensus method is now proposed to include wider consultation with healthcare workers and other stakeholders ‘on the ground’ in a variety of settings via an online survey. Results of this survey will then be compiled and discussed at an expert stakeholder meeting at the ISA conference in Glasgow in June 2018. The study will be completed by sending the finalised recommendations out to all participants.

The online survey is hosted by ‘survey monkey’ and will be distributed with an introductory email to personal contacts, mailing lists for formal and informal networks including the International Stillbirth Alliance, PNMCH and HIFA, as well as professional bodies, such as the Australian College of Midwives.

All data is stored securely on the survey monkey website and personal information, will only be used for distributing the results to participants, for which permission will be explicitly sought when the survey is carried out. Individual responses will be anonymised.

Participants provide consent by reading the introductory information and proceeding to complete the online survey.


The study findings will be disseminated to healthcare workers, policy makers and an academic audience. In addition to disseminating the results to the participants, we will write a ‘blog’ type summary to share on the list-servers used to recruit participants, all of which are relevant to global women’s health. We will also share an early report with organisations with an interest in stillbirth e.g. International Stillbirth Alliance. Through our networks, we will share the information with the WHO maternal, child and adolescent department to aid them in their development of information around Stillbirth. We will ensure we reach an academic audience by publishing the results of the survey and presenting at conferences such as the International Stillbirth Alliance conference 2019, Global women’s research society conference 2019.
Effective start/end date1/01/1828/02/19


Explore the research topics touched on by this project. These labels are generated based on the underlying awards/grants. Together they form a unique fingerprint.