Uptake of the Perinatal Society of Australia and New Zealand perinatal mortality audit guideline

V Flenady, K Mahomed, D Ellwood, A Charles, G Teale, Y Chadha, H Jeffery, T Stacey, I Ibiebele, M Elder, Y Khong

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

16 Citations (Scopus)


Background: Deficiencies in investigation and audit of perinatal deaths result in loss of information thereby limiting strategies for future prevention. The Perinatal Society of Australia and New Zealand (PSANZ) developed a clinical practice guideline for perinatal mortality in 2004.

Aims: To determine the current use and views of the PSANZ guideline, focussing on the investigation and audit aspects of the guideline.

Methods: A telephone survey was conducted of lead midwives and doctors working in birth suites of maternity hospitals with over 1000 births per annum in Australia and New Zealand.

Results: Sixty‐nine of the 78 eligible hospitals agreed to participate. A total of 133 clinicians were surveyed. Only 42% of clinicians surveyed were aware of the guideline; more midwives than doctors were aware (53 vs 28%). Of those, only 19% had received training in their use and 33% reported never having referred to them in practice. Implementation of even the key guideline recommendations varied. Seventy per cent of respondents reported regularly attending perinatal mortality audit meetings; midwives were less likely than doctors to attend (59 vs 81%). Almost half (45%) of those surveyed reported never receiving feedback from these meetings. The majority of clinicians surveyed agreed that all parents should be approached for consent to an autopsy examination of the baby; however, most (86%) reported the need for clinician training in counselling parents about autopsy.

Conclusions: Effective implementation programmes are urgently required to address suboptimal uptake of best practice guidelines on perinatal mortality audit in Australia and New Zealand.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)138-143
Number of pages6
JournalAustralian and New Zealand Journal of Obstetrics and Gynaecology
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 13 Apr 2010
Externally publishedYes


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