The Vermont Oxford Network (VON) is a non-profit voluntary collaboration of health care professionals dedicated to improving the quality and safety of medical care for very low birthweight infants, i.e. those born ≤1500g and/or ≤29 weeks. The VON maintains a database of information regarding their care and outcomes. It is a unique organisation, collecting information from over 900 Neonatal Intensive Care Units (NICUs) worldwide.
The NPEC has facilitated membership of the VON for 9 neonatal units within the Republic of Ireland since 2009. In 2013, the NPEC, financed and facilitated VON membership of the remaining 11 neonatal units in the Republic. All 19 units delivering newborn babies are now members of the VON, making it possible to have composite national data on all infants born ≤1500g and/or ≤29 weeks in the Republic. It is aimed that 2014 will be the first year of publication of an annual national report to include all such Irish babies.
We would like to thank all the women who have participated in the MAMs study to date.
We would like to sincerely thank you for your participation in this exciting and important study. Your input is truly valuable.
The MAMS Research team.
MAMS Ireland which is being conducted in collaboration with several maternity units across Ireland aimed to collect information on women’s views of and preferences for maternity care, which has yet to be done on a national scale. It is designed to give women a voice in the future planning of maternity care in Ireland.
MAMS is a survey-based study which evaluates maternity care services from the perspective of the user. It focuses largely on care during labour, but also seeks to collect information on antenatal and postnatal care. For instance, the study aims to capture the importance to women of continuity of carer from antenatal to intrapartum care; the role of the midwife and doctor during labour; access to pain relief and neonatal services, among other aspects of care. By capturing women’s preferences for maternity care, the results of this study will be used to inform health care providers and policy makers alike on the different aspects of maternity care that are important to women. At the NPEC we believe that maternity care should be shaped around what women want.
MAMS is invited 800 women from around the country to participate in this study. All information collected in the course of the study is completely confidential in line with the Data Protection Act 1988/2003.
MAMS Ireland is a collaborative research project between the NPEC and the School of Economics, University College Cork, and the research team includes Mr. Christopher Fawsitt,Professor Richard Greene, Ms. Jennifer Lutomski, Dr. Jane Bourke, Dr. Brendan McElroy, and Dr. Rosemary Murphy.
What is PRAMS-Ireland?
Each year, an estimated 70,000 women give birth in Ireland. There are major gaps in population-based studies characterising the experiences of women before, during and after pregnancy in Ireland, particularly on highly topical subjects such as intimate partner violence, substance abuse, and mental disorders. To address these gaps, the NPEC proposes to collect data using the Pregnancy Risk Assessment Monitoring System (PRAMS).
The PRAMS was originally designed by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in the United States (http://www.cdc.gov/prams/),
and the system continues to be widely used to collect population-based data on maternal attitudes and experiences before, during, and after pregnancy. The PRAMS, shown to be effective in design, statistical analyses, and translation to practice, represents a novel model for use in Ireland.
The NPEC is currently developing the PRAMS-Ireland to study the impacts of maternal experiences on select perinatal outcomes and to identify the complex relationships of maternal and infant characteristics and adverse health outcomes.
A PRAMS pilot study was undertaken by the NPEC in February 2012. A number of modifications were subsequently made to the study instrument and protocol. In October 2012, a larger PRAMS study was rolled out, involving 1,200 women having had recent live births at Cork University Maternity Hospital; it is anticipated some of the initial findings from the PRAMS study will be available in late 2013.
Maternal and infant health benefits
The PRAMS allows the opportunity to collect important information on a significant number of mothers in Ireland to determine modifiable factors associated with adverse perinatal outcomes and to identify clinical, public health and policy interventions to improve maternal welfare.