Parent engagement in perinatal mortality reviews: An online survey of clinicians from six high income countries

Frances M Boyle*, Dell Horey, Dimitrios Siassakos, Christy Burden, Danya Bakhbakhi, Robert M Silver, Vicki Flenady

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle (Academic Journal)peer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)


OBJECTIVE: Parent engagement in perinatal mortality review meetings following stillbirth may benefit parents and improve patient safety. We investigated perinatal mortality review meeting practices, including the extent of parent engagement, based on self-reports from health care professionals from maternity care facilities in six high income countries.

DESIGN: Cross-sectional online survey Setting Australia; New Zealand; United Kingdom; Ireland; United States; and Canada. Population A total of 1,104 health care professionals, comprising mainly obstetricians, gynaecologists, midwives and nurses.

METHODS: Data were drawn from responses to a survey covering stillbirth-related topics. Open- and closed-items that focused on "Data quality on causes of stillbirth" were analysed. Main Outcome Measures Health care professionals' self-reported practices around perinatal mortality review meetings following stillbirth.

RESULTS: Most clinicians (81.0%) were aware of regular audit meetings to review stillbirth at their maternity facility, although this was true for only 35.5% of US respondents. For 854 respondents whose facility held regular meetings, less than a third (31.1%) reported some form of parent engagement, although this was usually as one-way post-meeting feedback. Across all six countries, only 17.1% of respondents described an explicit approach where parents provided input, received feedback and were represented at meetings.

CONCLUSIONS: We found no established practice of involving parents in the perinatal mortality review process in six high income countries. Parent engagement may hold the key to important lessons for stillbirth prevention and care. Further understanding of approaches, barriers and enablers is warranted. Funding Mater Research Institute, University of Queensland, Australia, provided infrastructure and funding to enable this work to be undertaken.

Original languageEnglish
Number of pages8
JournalBJOG: An International Journal of Obstetrics and Gynaecology
Early online date22 Sept 2020
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 22 Sept 2020


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