Organization

University of Dublin Trinity College

Project Description

Safety and maternity care: Identification of primary outcome measures using an e-Delphi process

Project Abstract

For decades, reports on the configuration of maternity services, maternity service consumers and health professionals have described safety as a fundamental, minimum requirement for acceptable services for childbearing women. Evidence for the safety of maternity care is obtained from research evaluating the effects of models of maternity care and/or its components. However, while there is some overlap of the outcome measures used by researchers, there is also significant variability among them.

This study sought to identify a minimum set of primary outcome measures for evaluating safety in maternity care. Consumers and professionals from midwifery, obstetrics, general practice, neonatology and neonatal nursing were recruited via consumer and professional organisations/institutions and electronic discussion lists to participate in a web-based e-Delphi process. This was used to elicit, combine and prioritise their opinions on primary outcome measures for evaluating safety in maternity care. Three Delphi rounds were conducted; 1: outcomes identified in the literature were presented for editing and additions to ensure completeness of selected outcomes; 2: outcomes from round 1 were randomly arranged and respondents were asked to rank outcomes in order of importance; 3: outcomes with the highest rank totals from round 2 were re-presented in rank order, so that respondents could suggest changes to this ranked order.

This paper presents findings on the outcomes selected. The priorities assigned by consumers and different maternity care professionals are reported separately. Recommendations are made for a minimum set of primary outcome measures for evaluating safety in maternity care and how others involved in maternity services, including consumers, can be brought into this process.

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