Advancing quality maternal and newborn care

Study 1 – Testing an internationally agreed Set of Standard Outcome Measures for Pregnancy and Childbirth (ICHOM)

Measurement of maternity care plays a vital role in ensuring quality care and continuous improvement, but current healthcare quality metrics may be missing the mark.

Current outcome measures focus on processes and systems and pay limited attention to outcomes impacting the long-term health of mothers and babies or women’s views about their health and care.

The ICHOM Standard Set of Outcome Measures for Pregnancy and Childbirth consists of well-known measurement scales, relatively new scales, and discrete items which are important to women and may be useful in transforming healthcare within and across health services and systems through benchmarking.

This project, which forms part of Ms Slavin’s PhD, is an Australian first and aims to test the feasibility of the Standard Set of Outcome Measures in terms of validity and reliability of the included measures, for the birthing population.

Around 300 women have been recruited for this study and completed the Standard Set of Outcome Measures during pregnancy, around the time of birth and up to 6 months postpartum.


Slavin, V., Gamble, J., Creedy, DK., Fenwick, J. (2019). Measuring physical and mental health during pregnancy and postpartum in an Australian childbearing population – validation of the PROMIS Global Short Form. BMC Pregnancy and Childbirth, 19(1), 370. DOI: 10.1186/s12884-019-2546-6 

Slavin, V., Gamble, J., Creedy, DK., Fenwick, J. (2019). Perinatal Incontinence: Psychometric evaluation of the International Consultation on Incontinence Questionnaire – Urinary Incontinence Short form and Wexner scale. Neurourology and Urodynamics, 38(8) 2209-2223. DOI: 10.1002/nau.24121

Slavin, V., Creedy, DK., Gamble, J. (2020). Benchmarking outcomes in Maternity Care: Peripartum incontinence – a framework for standardised reporting. Midwifery, 83, 102628. DOI: 10.1016/j.midw.2020.102628

Co-Leads: Professor Gamble, Professor Creedy and Ms Slavin (PhD candidate)

Study 2 – Evaluation of maternity services using the Framework for Quality
Maternal and Newborn Care

In 2014, The Lancet series on Midwifery published an evidence-based framework for Quality Maternal and Newborn Care (QMNC).

This sub-program of work uses the QMNC to evaluate maternity services and make recommendations for service enhancement to align with all elements of the Framework.

Co-Leads: Professor Jenny Gamble, Adjunct Associate Professor Jocelyn Toohill and Professor Debra Creedy

Study 3 – Logan Community Maternal and Child Health Hubs

Logan City, south of Brisbane, continues to experience disproportionate levels of disadvantage. Pregnant women in this area are less likely to access antenatal care even when established health services are available. New approaches were needed to address these issues and Transforming Maternity Care Collaborative participated in a wider process to co-design for for purpose services

The Logan Community Maternal and Child Health Hubs aimed to address the specific needs of women and families experiencing the greatest disadvantage. The new model includes providing continuity of midwifery care with a named midwife for all women. The Hubs are located in existing, non-government community organisations, which offer a range of social and health services.  Integrated support from established secondary and tertiary maternity services are provided through Logan Hospital.

The service specifically aims to meet the needs of women from migrant and refugee communities, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander women, and women experiencing low SES circumstances. It is underpinned by principles of primary health, community development, co-design and cultural safety.

Our team continues to work in partnership with Metro South Health Service, Health Consumers Queensland,  and Logan Together to assess impact, sustainability and scalability of this innovative community-based maternity and child health service.

This study is also relevant to the Health Promotion Program.

Lead: Professor Jenny Gamble