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Education priorities for voluntary organisations supporting parents experiencing perinatal loss: a Delphi survey

A standardised approach is necessary to develop an education day that is responsive to the learning needs of volunteers supporting bereaved parents.


Stacey Power Walsh, Sarah Meaney, RiĆ³na Cotter, Keelin O'Donoghue

Journal Name
International Journal of Palliative Nursing
Journal Article
Neonatal death, Pregnancy loss, Stillbirth

Experiences of pregnancy with major fetal anomalies

Full Citation

Power S, Meaney S, Cotter R, O'Donoghue K. Education priorities for voluntary organisations supporting parents experiencing perinatal loss: a Delphi survey. International Journal of Palliative Nursing. 2020;26(4):156-166.

Link to Publication


Ireland relies on voluntary organisations to provide bereavement support to parents who experience pregnancy loss and perinatal death. The author aimed to investigate what the learning needs of volunteers within these organisations were in order to develop a training day responsive to their needs. A modified Delphi survey was undertaken to identify their learning needs involving two rounds. There were 12 responses to round one and seven response to round two. Participants were asked to rank in order of importance ten topics. The top 6 topics were broken down into 64 sub-topics and participants were asked to identify which sub-topic was essential, desirable or not relevant. The sub-topics which scored the highest and where greater than half of the participants identified them as essential, were grouped together as appropriate and included in the study day. This resulted in a total of 55 sub-topics being delivered in the study day. Education is essential in healthcare in order to keep up to date with best practice. This study identified educational needs of voluntary organisations who play an important role in supporting parents who experience a pregnancy loss or perinatal death.

Pregnancy Loss Research Group

Pregnancy Loss Research Group, Department of Obstetrics & Gynaecology, University College Cork, Fifth Floor, Cork University Maternity Hospital, Wilton, Cork, T12 YE02, Ireland,