Optimizing the management of women in spontaneous preterm labour

Research Opportunity
PhD, Masters by Research
Primary Supervisor Email Number Webpage
Dr Joshua Vogel joshua.vogel@burnet.edu.au
Co-supervisor Email Number Webpage
Dr Michelle Scoullar michelle.scoullar@burnet.edu.au
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 understanding and use of nifedipine for the management of preterm labour.

Project Details

Preterm birth affects nearly 15 million births annually, and is the leading cause of death in children younger than 5 years of age globally. Up to 75% of preterm births occur following spontaneous preterm labour or preterm premature rupture of membranes (PPROM).(2) In Australia, preterm birth affects 8.5% of all births (an increase from 7.9% in 2010), equating to nearly 27,000 preterm babies in 2016.

With strategies for preventing preterm birth proving largely unsuccessful, women presenting with signs and symptoms of threatened preterm labour remains a global clinical challenge. Tocolytic drugs are widely used in an attempt to delay or even prevent preterm birth. In Australia, the calcium channel blocker nifedipine is routinely used to treat threatened preterm labour. However, a Cochrane review found insufficient evidence to conclude whether tocolysis with nifedipine improves substantive perinatal outcomes.

The Maternal and Child Health Program has a number of student projects available relating to research on improving understanding and use of nifedipine for the management of preterm labour, including:

  • Knowledge synthesis on the benefits and harms of nifedipine for preterm labour, including systematic reviews of efficacy trials
  • Reviews and quality assessments of relevant international clinical practice guidelines
  • Primary research on current clinical practice in managing spontaneous preterm labour, including tocolytic use
  • Primary research on women’s and provider’s willingness to participate in a clinical trial of nifedipine versus placebo


Faculty Research Themes

Child Health

School Research Themes

Screening and early detection of disease



Research Opportunities

PhD, Masters by Research
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.


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