Research priorities in sudden unexpected infant death: An international consensus

Fern R. Hauck, Betty L. McEntire, Leanne K. Raven, Francine L. Bates*, Lucy A. Lyus, Alexis M. Willett, Peter S. Blair

*Corresponding author for this work

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

26 Citations (Scopus)


Despite the success of safe sleep campaigns and the progress in understanding risk factors, the rate of reduction in the cases of sudden infant death syndrome has now slowed and it remains a leading cause of postneonatal mortality in many developed countries. Strategic action is needed to tackle this problem and it is now vital to identify how the sudden infant death research community may best target its efforts. The Global Action and Prioritization of Sudden Infant Death Project was an international consensus process that aimed to define and direct future research by investigating the priorities of expert and lay members of the sudden unexpected infant death (SUID) community across countries. The aim was to identify which areas of research should be prioritized to reduce the number of SUID deaths globally. Scientific researchers, clinicians, counselors, educators, and SUID parents from 25 countries took part across 2 online surveys to identify potential research priorities. Workshops subsequently took place in the United Kingdom, United States, and Australia to reach consensus and 10 priority areas for research were established. Three main themes among the priorities emerged: (1) a better understanding of mechanisms underlying SUID, (2) ensuring best practice in data collection, management and sharing, and (3) a better understanding of target populations and more effective communication of risk. SUID is a global problem and this project provides the international SUID community with a list of shared research priorities to more effectively work toward explaining and reducing the number of sudden infant deaths.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere20163514
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 1 Aug 2017


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