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 Standard Set of Outcome Measures for Pregnancy and Childbirth consists of well-known measurement scales, relatively new scales, and discrete items which are believed to be important to women and may be useful in transforming healthcare within and across states, as well as countries, 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 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 during pregnancy, around the time of birth and up to 6 months postpartum.

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

Study 2 – Impact of midwifery continuity of care beyond the time around birth

The benefits to women and newborns of continuity of midwifery care (caseload midwifery model) are well established however the focus of research to date has been on clinical outcomes around the time of birth. This study investigates outcomes beyond this period that may impact life-long health and are important to women.

Lead: Professor Jenny Gamble

Study 3 – 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 4 – 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 re-design these services

Using a co-design process the Logan Community Maternal and Child Health Hubs aimed to address the specific needs of women and families experiencing the greatest disadvantage in the City of Logan.

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 is undertaking a critical realist evaluation, in collaboration with Metro South Health Service partners, Health Consumers Queensland, Office of the Chief Nursing and Midwifery Office – Queensland Health and Logan Together to assess impact, sustainability and scalability of this innovative co-designed, community-based maternity and child health service.

This study is also relevant to the Health Promotion Program.

Lead: Professor Jenny Gamble