Development, feasibility, and evaluation of a multi-component intervention to improve care and support for parents after stillbirth or neonatal death in sub-Saharan Africa and South Asia

Location: Kenya  

Registration: LSTM (remote learning)

This workstream will test the hypothesis that implementation of a multicomponent intervention, including a bereavement education workshop for maternity care staff and a bereavement ‘champion’ network to improve postnatal bereavement care in maternity facilities, (facility intervention) and/or access to postnatal telephone peer support (peer support) reduces grief intensity for women following stillbirth or neonatal death at 3-6 months in Kenya and Uganda. We will conduct a pragmatic stepped wedge cluster randomised controlled trial in 6 sites. A nested sub-study, in 2 included clusters, will randomise eligible, consenting individual women to telephone peer support or usual care every month during the trial. A concurrent process evaluation will be conducted to evaluate whether interventions have been implemented as planned based on outcomes of fidelity, dose, reach, and adaptations made to the intervention in the study context. Mechanisms of impact will be addressed by exploring acceptability, mediators including barriers and enablers and unanticipated consequences. With the support of the workstream leads and supervisory team, the successful candidate will develop an independent study based in Uganda and Kenya, contributing to the overall workstream aims.    

Where does the project lie on the translational pathway: T2(human/clinical research) - T3 (evidence into practice)

Workstream outputs: This study will demonstrate whether bereavement care education, implementation of a bereavement champion network in facilities and availability of postnatal peer support can a) reduce perinatal grief intensity, b) and risk of anxiety and depression 3-6 months after stillbirth or neonatal death c) improves staff confidence in caring for bereaved parents and e) is cost effective.  

Training opportunities: Applied health research, understanding of complex intervention testing and randomised controlled trials, process evaluation and implementation. Clinical trials, mixed methods, qualitative and quantitative research. Community engagement and involvement, dissemination skills.

Skills required:  Understanding of current context of care after stillbirth or neonatal death in Uganda/ Kenya, midwifery, nursing or social science background would be desirable. Previous experience of qualitative research methods and clinical trials would be an asset. Strong communication and organisational skills.        

Contact: Dr Tracey MillsProf Dame Tina Lavender (LSTM), Dr Sabina Wakasiaka (Kenya lead)     

If you would like further information or an informal discussion prior to submitting your application please email the named contact.

Interested in Applying for this Opportunity? – Further details including Application process can be found here.

Application Closing date: 30thSeptember 2021, 12 noon UK time