The RELEVANT study

REducing stiLlbirth through bEhaViour chAnge iNtervenTions (The RELEVANT Study)

The RELEVANT STUDY is a doctoral research project for Tamara Escañuela Sánchez and is funded by Science Foundation Ireland.

The overall aim of this PhD is to build the evidence-based to inform the development of a behaviour change intervention to raise awareness of and reduce risk factors for Stillbirth in Ireland. In order to achieve this, the PhD will utilise the Behaviour Change Wheel (BCW) tool, which was developed from consensus study by researchers in health psychology and implementation science.  In order to develop an intervention the BCW broadly involves understanding and defining the behaviour; identifies the appropriate intervention and identifies the supportive policy categories to support intervention implementation.


Who is Involved?

This PhD study is being carried out by Tamara Escañuela sánchez (INFANT, UCC). The study is led by Prof. Keelin O’Donoghue (CUMH, UCC) and Dr. Karen Matvienko-Sikar (School of Public Health, UCC), with the support of external collaborators Dr. Sarah Meaney and Prof. Molly Byrne.


What is involved?

  • Identification of risk factors for stillbirth – Literature review.
  • Identification and assessments of current online resources – Quantitative content analysis of Irish and UK websites.
  • Identification of facilitators and barriers for behaviour change – Meta-synthesis of qualitative research.
  • Exploring postpartum women’s experiences of behaviour change and communication during pregnancy – Qualitative study.
  • Identification of interventions and Behaviour Change Techniques used in the context of stillbirth prevention – Systematic Reviews.



Survey study with Healthcare Professionals to explore knowledge and attitudes regarding stillbirth and communication about stillbirth and risk factors. Study led by Dr. Emily Rutherford.



 Escañuela Sánchez, T., Meaney, S. & O’Donoghue, K. Modifiable risk factors for stillbirth: a literature review. Midwifery 79, 102539 (2019)

Escañuela Sánchez, T., Meaney, S. & O’Donoghue, K. Stillbirth and risk factors: an evaluation of irish and Uk websites. J. Commun. Healthc. (2020)

Escañuela Sánchez T, Matvienko-Sikar K, Linehan L, O'Donoghue K, Byrne M, Meaney S. Facilitators and barriers to substance-free pregnancies in high-income countries: A meta-synthesis of qualitative research. Women Birth. 2021 Apr 29:S1871-5192(21)00076-7.


Abstract published in AJOG (SMFM Conference). Escañuela Sánchez, T., Linehan, L., Byrne, M., O’Donoghue, K. & Meaney, S. Facilitators and barriers to seeking and engaging with antenatal care in high-income countries: a meta-synthesis. Am. J. Obstet. Gynecol. 224, S256 (2021).


Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology

An Roinn Obstatraice agus Gínéiceolaíochta

Cork University Maternity Hospital, 5th Floor, Wilton, Cork, Ireland