Protocol for the development of a salutogenic intrapartum core outcome set (SIPCOS)

Smith, Valerie, Daly, Deirdre, Lundgren, Ingela, Eri, Tine, Begley, Cecily, Gross, Mechthild M., Downe, Soo orcid iconORCID: 0000-0003-2848-2550, Alfirevic, Zarko and Devane, Declan (2017) Protocol for the development of a salutogenic intrapartum core outcome set (SIPCOS). BMC Medical Research Methodology, 17 (61).

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Background: Maternity intrapartum care research and clinical care more often focus on outcomes that minimise or prevent adverse health rather than on what constitutes positive health and wellbeing (salutogenesis). This was highlighted recently in a systematic review of reviews of intrapartum reported outcomes where only 8% of 1648 individual outcomes, from 102 systematic reviews, were agreed as being salutogenically-focused. Added to this is variation in the outcomes measured in individual studies rendering it very difficult for researchers to synthesise, fully, the evidence from studies on a particular topic. One of the suggested ways to address this is to develop and apply an agreed standardised set of outcomes, known as a ‘core outcome set’ (COS). In this paper we present a protocol for the development of a salutogenic intrapartum COS (SIPCOS) for use in maternity care research and a SIPCOS for measuring in daily intrapartum clinical care.

Methods: The study proposes three phases in developing the final SIPCOSs. Phase one, which is complete, involved the conduct of a systematic review of reviews to identify a preliminary list of salutogenically-focused outcomes that had previously been reported in systematic reviews of intrapartum interventions. Sixteen unique salutogenically-focused outcome categories were identified. Phase two will involve prioritising these outcomes, from the perspective of key stakeholders (users of maternity services, clinicians and researchers) by asking them to rate the importance of each outcome for inclusion in the SIPCOSs. A final consensus meeting (phase three) will be held, bringing international stakeholders together to review the preliminary SIPCOSs resulting from the survey and to agree and finalise the final SIPCOSs for use in future maternity care research and daily clinical care.

Discussion: The expectation in developing the SIPCOSs is that they will be collected and reported in all future studies evaluating intrapartum interventions and measured/recorded in future intrapartum clinical care, as routine, alongside other outcomes also deemed important in the context of the study or clinical scenario. Using the SIPCOSs in this way, will promote and encourage standardised measurements of positive health outcomes in maternity care, into the future.

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