Characteristics of a global classification system for perinatal deaths: A Delphi consensus study

A.M. Wojcieszek, H.E. Reinebrant, S.H. Leisher, Emma Allanson, M. Coory, J.J. Erwich, J.F. Frøen, J. Gardosi, S. Gordijn, M. Gulmezoglu, A.E.P. Heazell, F.J. Korteweg, E. McClure, R. Pattinson, R.M. Silver, G. Smith, Z. Teoh, Ö. Tunçalp, V. Flenady

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    22 Citations (Scopus)


    © 2016 The Author(s).Background: Despite the global burden of perinatal deaths, there is currently no single, globally-acceptable classification system for perinatal deaths. Instead, multiple, disparate systems are in use world-wide. This inconsistency hinders accurate estimates of causes of death and impedes effective prevention strategies. The World Health Organisation (WHO) is developing a globally-acceptable classification approach for perinatal deaths. To inform this work, we sought to establish a consensus on the important characteristics of such a system. Methods: A group of international experts in the classification of perinatal deaths were identified and invited to join an expert panel to develop a list of important characteristics of a quality global classification system for perinatal death. A Delphi consensus methodology was used to reach agreement. Three rounds of consultation were undertaken using a purpose built on-line survey. Round one sought suggested characteristics for subsequent scoring and selection in rounds two and three. Results: The panel of experts agreed on a total of 17 important characteristics for a globally-acceptable perinatal death classification system. Of these, 10 relate to the structural design of the system and 7 relate to the functional aspects and use of the system. Conclusion: This study serves as formative work towards the development of a globally-acceptable approach for the classification of the causes of perinatal deaths. The list of functional and structural characteristics identified should be taken into consideration when designing and developing such a system.
    Original languageEnglish
    Article number223
    JournalBMC Pregnancy and Childbirth
    Issue number1
    Publication statusPublished - 15 Aug 2016


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