Developing a core outcome set in interventions to prevent stillbirth: A systematic review on variations of outcome reporting

Bobae Veronica Kim, Edoardo C Aromataris, Willem de Lint, Philippa Middleton, Rosemary Townsent, Asma Khalil, James M Duffy, Vicki Flenady, Shakila Thangaratinam, Ben W Mol* (Corresponding Author)

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)


OBJECTIVE: To determine which outcomes have been previously reported in previous stillbirth prevention studies.

RESEARCH DESIGN: Systematic review of reviews: We searched the Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews, EMBASE and Pubmed for systematic reviews and meta- analyses investigating interventions to prevent stillbirth and its major risk factors.

DATA COLLECTION AND ANALYSIS: Two reviewers identified and extracted outcomes independently. Outcomes were categorised under relevant domains for analysis. Frequency of each outcome was also determined.

MAIN RESULTS: From 51 eligible reviews, 16 reviews addressed stillbirth prevention specifically while 35 reviews evaluated the efficacies of prevention or management of the eight major risk factors of stillbirth. Two hundred and thirty-seven outcomes were extracted, including 150 maternal outcomes and 87 offspring outcomes. Stillbirth (35/51), perinatal mortality (34/51) and neonatal mortality (33/51) were the most commonly reported outcomes followed by birthweight (29/51), caesarean section (28/51) and preeclampsia/eclampsia (23/51). Self-reported mother/family focused outcomes on their experiences and views were reported in 10/51 reviews.

CONCLUSION: In studies evaluating prevention of stillbirth there is a large variety in outcomes, with discrepancies in nomenclature and measurements. Woman/family-centred outcomes are often missing from studies. There is a need for a core outcome sets agreed by all stakeholders containing the recommended minimum data to be reported in future studies investigating prevention of stillbirth.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)196-206
Number of pages11
JournalEuropean Journal of Obstetrics & Gynecology and Reproductive Biology
Early online date31 Dec 2020
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2021

Bibliographical note

The COSTIL project was funded by Stillbirth Foundation Australia, The University of Adelaide and The Stillbirth Centre for Research Excellence (CRE), The University of Queensland. The project protocol, collection of data and analyses were designed and carried out independently from the funders.


  • Cesarean Section
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Infant, Newborn
  • Outcome Assessment, Health Care
  • Perinatal Mortality
  • Pregnancy
  • Stillbirth/epidemiology
  • Systematic Reviews as Topic


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