From a systematic reviews and evidence map to addressing evidence gaps regarding maternal injuries after vaginal birth

Österberg M1, Rydin K1, Hellberg C1
1Swedish Agency for Health Technology Assessment and Assessment of Social Services (SBU)

Background:

Systematic reviews are considered to produce the highest level of evidence. These reviews along with evidence maps also reveal evidence gaps, where additional research is needed. The Swedish Agency for Health Technology Assessment and Assessment of Social Services (SBU) has summarized the evidence related to prevention, diagnostics and treatment for maternal injuries following vaginal birth. Injuries that may result in substantial sufferings well as lowered quality of life (QoL). Both reports revealed several evidence gaps and it is, therefore, important to conduct new clinical research addressing important research questions linked to these injuries.

Objectives:

To involve patients with maternal injuries after vaginal birth together with clinicians to enable a prioritization of clinical research needs within the field.

Methods:

The evidence gaps included in the prioritization setting was identified in two previous reports from SBU (1, 2). The method for prioritization was primarily based on James Lind Alliance’s guidebook, consisting of an interim priority setting exercise and a workshop. The work-group consisted of nine women representing different birth injuries and nine clinicians working with these women in different aspects.

Results:

The final prioritized areas will be presented in a top priority list at the conference. Different views regarding the prioritization process will be presented, both from the project management and from a woman in the working group.

Conclusions:

Usefulness of practice-based research correlates with its ability to produce answers to the questions that matter the most for those affected. Central stakeholders in the process are women, close relatives and clinicians. SBU has taken the information gained from two previous reports and facilitated a prioritization process of evidence gaps within prevention, diagnostics and treatment of maternal injuries after vaginal birth. By motivating the most urgent research needs we hope that these research questions will be prioritized when it comes to funding and conducting research.

Patient or healthcare consumer involvement:

SBU has facilitated the prioritization setting/process involving patients and professionals within the field. SBU did not take part in the prioritization selection. If possible one patient will be included in the presentation.