Maternal sleep position and stillbirth prevention in low- and middle-income countries

Research Opportunity
PhD, Masters by Research, Honours
Number of Honour Places Available
1
Location
Burnet Institute
Primary Supervisor Email Number Webpage
Dr Joshua Vogel joshua.vogel@burnet.edu.au
Co-supervisor Email Number Webpage
Prof Caroline Homer caroline.homer@burnet.edu.au

Summary The Maternal and Child Health Program has a number of student projects available relating to research on improving our understanding of maternal sleeping practices and stillbirth prevention.

Project Details

Stillbirth is a major cause of mortality globally, with an estimated 2.6 million cases worldwide in 2015 and over 150,000 in the South-East Asia and Oceania region alone. Approximately 98% of these stillbirths occurred in low- and middle-income countries (LMICs), and half (1.3 million) during labour and birth (intrapartum). These numbers are staggering on their own, and even more so when taking into account the grief experienced by millions of families, most of whom need not have suffered this highly preventable outcome.

Recent observational studies have linked maternal sleep position (supine) to an increased risk of stillbirth. Australian healthcare providers are encouraged to provide all pregnant women with safe sleeping advice (in addition to other interventions) to help prevent stillbirths from occurring. However, there is limited information as to whether sleep position is a risk factor for stillbirth in low-resource, high-burden countries, where stillbirth rates are substantively greater than Australia.

The Maternal and Child Health Program has a number of student projects available relating to research on improving our understanding of maternal sleeping practices and stillbirth prevention:

  • Systematic review of observational studies reporting maternal sleeping behaviour during pregnancy
  • Primary research on the perspectives and beliefs of women and providers in LMICs around sleeping practices and risk of stillbirth
  • Primary observational research on women’s sleep position and health outcomes in LMICs, using wearable technologies

The student will work with the Global Women’s and Newborn’s Health Group at the Burnet Institute in Melbourne (primarily desk-based research). This project will allow the student to gain experience in global maternal and perinatal health epidemiology, systematic review and quantitative analysis methodologies, with a view to a scientific publication and pursuing a PhD.



Faculty Research Themes

Child Health

School Research Themes

Data science, health metrics and disease modeling, Screening and early detection of disease



Research Opportunities

PhD, Masters by Research, Honours
Students who are interested in joining this project will need to consider their elegibility as well as other requirements before contacting the supervisor of this research

Graduate Research application

Honours application

Key Contact

For further information about this research, please contact a supervisor.

Research Node

Burnet Institute

MDHS Research library
Explore by researcher, school, project or topic.