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Implementation of Evidence-Based Practices for Improving Maternal and Neonatal Health

Edited by:
Michelle H. Moniz, MD MSc, University of Michigan, United States of America
Rebecca Hamm, MD MSCE, University of Pennsylvania, United States of America
Jennifer Callaghan Koru, PhD MHS, University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences, United States of America

Submission Status: Open   |   Submission Deadline: 31 August 2024

Implementation Science and Implementation Science Communications are calling for submissions to our Collection on Implementation of Evidence-Based Practices for Improving Maternal and Neonatal Health. 

This collection supports and amplifies research related to SDG 3 - Good Health & Wellbeing and SDG 5 - Gender Equality.

Image credit: © Valenty /

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Implementation Science
Implementation Science 

Meet the Guest Editors

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Michelle H. MonizUniversity of Michigan, USA

Dr. Moniz is an Associate Professor and physician-investigator in the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology at the University of Michigan and Director of the Obstetrics Initiative, a statewide quality initiative with 70+ hospitals working to improve maternity care quality, outcomes, and inequities in Michigan. She is a board-certified generalist obstetrician gynecologist with over 14 years in clinical practice. She completed the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Clinical Scholars program and a Master of Science at the University of Michigan. Dr. Moniz’s long-term career goal is to design and evaluate health policies and clinical strategies that improve all people’s access to high-value reproductive healthcare and address disparities in reproductive health outcomes. Dr. Moniz is a nationally recognized expert in obstetric health services research and implementation research, and she has published over 80 manuscripts to date. Her research has appeared in high-impact journals such as Implementation Science, JAMA, BMJ Quality and Safety, and Health Affairs, and has garnered attention in The Atlantic, NPR, and other major media outlets. She is currently the Primary Investigator of a U01 investigation to develop, disseminate, and evaluate guidelines for pain management after childbirth in the United States.

Rebecca HammUniversity of Pennsylvania, USA

Dr. Hamm is an Assistant Professor in the Division of Maternal Fetal Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania, where she completed residency in Obstetrics and Gynecology, fellowship in Maternal Fetal Medicine, and a Masters of Science in Clinical Epidemiology (MSCE). She is also a Senior Fellow at the Leonard Davis Institute of Health Economics and serves as the Vice-Chair of the Patient Safety and Quality Committee for the Society for Maternal-Fetal Medicine and the Co-Chair of her institution’s Obstetrics Quality Improvement Committee.  In her work, she employs quantitative and qualitative methods to study the implementation of evidence-based practices in routine obstetric care. In particular, her work aims to improve care quality and the use of evidence-based practices in the areas of obstetric hemorrhage and labor induction, the focus of an NICHD-funded K23. Other areas of interest include implementation of interventions aimed at reducing the profound racial and ethnic disparities present in maternal morbidity and mortality.

Jennifer Callaghan KoruUniversity of Arkansas for Medical Sciences, USA

Dr. Callaghan-Koru is an Associate Professor at the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences (UAMS), with appointments in the Departments of Internal Medicine and Obstetrics and Gynecology, and is a core faculty member of the UAMS Center for Implementation Research. Dr. Callaghan-Koru co-founded the Arkansas Perinatal Quality Collaborative and serves as its Director of Evaluation.  She received a Doctoral degree and Master’s of Health Sciences degree from the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health and completed the NIH’s Training Institute for Dissemination and Implementation Research in Health. Her research is focused on improving maternal and child health through the application of implementation science methods to support quality improvement and innovative service delivery. Dr. Callaghan-Koru's work has been funded by the National Institutes of Health, the Health Resources and Services Administration, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and the United States Agency for International Development. She is the PI/Co-PI of $20 million in active research and program grants, including a hybrid effectiveness-implementation trial of enhanced postpartum care delivered through telehealth, funded by the Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute.

About the Collection

Maternal morbidity and mortality remain a substantial threat worldwide. In addition, there are significant, unacceptable disparities by race, socioeconomic status, and ethnicity in birth outcomes. Yet, efforts to improve maternal-neonatal clinical outcomes and eliminate outcomes disparities have met with varied success. Implementation research is sorely needed to identify barriers, facilitators, and effective strategies for implementing evidence-based practices in routine care delivery in maternity settings to improve maternal-neonatal health outcomes and eliminate outcome disparities.

This Collection seeks research on implementation of evidence-based practices to improve maternal and neonatal health. We welcome submissions of research in high- and low-income countries and spanning preconception, pregnancy, intrapartum, and postpartum care, as well as outpatient, inpatient, and community-based settings. We encourage investigations that incorporate health equity considerations, with a goal of ensuring that all people can access evidence-based care to improve the health of birthing populations. In addition, we encourage work that takes a community-engaged approach to research.

This Collection welcomes submission of research articles (quantitative, qualitative, and mixed methods), viewpoint/discussion articles, scoping or systematic literature reviews, methodology articles, and reports of implementation trials.

Areas of interest include but are not limited to:

- Implementation trials in maternal and neonatal health including hybrid implementation-effectiveness trials (types I, II, and III)
- Rigorous pilot/feasibility studies or evaluations of full-scale implementation or dissemination projects
- Systematic investigations of quality improvement efforts in maternal and newborn care
- Studies of adaptation and/or implementation of evidence-based clinical interventions targeting maternal outcomes, including practice guidelines
- Studies focused on the identification, development, testing, deployment, evaluation, and/or refinement of implementation and dissemination strategies in perinatal contexts
- Studies evaluating variability in implementation contexts within perinatal settings
- Explorations of associations between contextual factors and successful implementation in maternal and perinatal care settings
- Studies assessing the implementation/integration of sexual health, family planning and intimate partner violence interventions in maternal and perinatal care
- Implementation-focused studies designed to improve maternal or perinatal health for historically marginalized racial-ethnic groups (e.g., people who are Black/African American, Hispanic/Latino, American Indian/Alaska Native, Asian American, Native Hawaiian and other Pacific Islander), socioeconomically disadvantaged populations, underserved rural populations, and people in minoritized sexual and gender groups.

For inclusion in the collection, submitted work must utilize frameworks, models, theories, and/or measures from the implementation science literature.  Articles that empirically adapt or test implementation science frameworks or measures in maternal and perinatal care settings are also encouraged. 

Sustainable Development Goals

This Collection supports and amplifies research related:

Sustainable Development Goal 3 - Ensure healthy lives and promote well-being for all at all ages, specifically the following targets:

- 3.1. By 2030, reduce the global maternal mortality ratio to less than 70 per 100,000 live births.
- 3.2. By 2030, end preventable deaths of newborns and children under 5 years of age, with all countries aiming to reduce neonatal mortality to at least as low as 12 per 1,000 live births and under-5 mortality to at least as low as 25 per 1,000 live births.
- 3.7. By 2030, ensure universal access to sexual and reproductive health-care services, including for family planning, information and education, and the integration of reproductive health into national strategies and programmes.

Sustainable Development Goal 5 - Achieve gender equality and empower all women and girls, specifically the following targets:

- 5.2. Eliminate all forms of violence against all women and girls in the public and private spheres, including trafficking and sexual and other types of exploitation.
- 5.6. Ensure universal access to sexual and reproductive health and reproductive rights as agreed in accordance with the Programme of Action of the International Conference on Population and Development and the Beijing Platform for Action and the outcome documents of their review conferences.

  1. In the UK, 7.6% of babies are born preterm, which the Department of Health aims to decrease to 6% by 2025. To advance this, NHS England released Saving Babies Lives Care Bundle Version 2 Element 5, recommendin...

    Authors: Naomi Carlisle, Sonia Dalkin, Andrew H Shennan and Jane Sandall
    Citation: Implementation Science Communications 2024 5:57
  2. Patient navigation is an individualized intervention to facilitate comprehensive care which has not yet been fully implemented in obstetric or postpartum care.

    Authors: Hannah M. Green, Brittney Williams, Laura Diaz, Viridiana Carmona-Barrera, Ka’Derricka Davis, Joe Feinglass, Michelle A. Kominiarek, Brigid M. Dolan, William A. Grobman and Lynn M. Yee
    Citation: Implementation Science Communications 2024 5:50
  3. Early detection of cerebral palsy (CP) is possible through targeted use of assessment tools. Changes in practice are needed to facilitate this shift towards earlier diagnosis of CP in New Zealand. The aim of t...

    Authors: Amy Mulqueeney, Malcolm Battin, Ann McKillop, N. Susan Stott, Angelica Allermo-Fletcher and Sîan A. Williams
    Citation: Implementation Science Communications 2024 5:46
  4. Group prenatal care enhances quality of care, improves outcomes, and lowers costs. However, this healthcare innovation is not widely available. Using a case-study approach, our objectives were to (1) examine o...

    Authors: Claire Masters, Rogie Royce Carandang, Jessica B. Lewis, Ashley Hagaman, Rebecca Metrick, Jeannette R. Ickovics and Shayna D. Cunningham
    Citation: Implementation Science Communications 2024 5:20
  5. Maternal health outcomes in the USA are far worse than in peer nations. Increasing implementation research in maternity care is critical to addressing quality gaps and unwarranted variations in care. Implement...

    Authors: Rebecca F. Hamm, Michelle H. Moniz, Inaya Wahid, Rachel Blankstein Breman and Jennifer A. Callaghan-Koru
    Citation: Implementation Science Communications 2023 4:83

Submission Guidelines

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This Collection welcomes submission of research articles (quantitative, qualitative, and mixed methods), viewpoint/discussion articles, scoping or systematic literature reviews, methodology articles, and reports of implementation trials. 

Should you wish to submit a different article type, please read the submission guidelines of the journal you are submitting to Implementation Science or Implementation Science Communications to confirm that type is accepted by the journal you are submitting to. Articles for this Collection should be submitted via our submission systems in Implementation Science or Implementation Science Communications. During the submission process you will be asked whether you are submitting to a Collection, please select "Implementation of Evidence-Based Practices for Improving Maternal and Neonatal Health" from the dropdown menu.

Articles will undergo the standard peer-review process of the journal they are considered in Implementation Science or Implementation Science Communications and are subject to all of the journal’s standard policies. Articles will be added to the Collection as they are published.

The Editors have no competing interests with the submissions which they handle through the peer review process. The peer-review of any submissions for which the Editors have competing interests is handled by another Editorial Board Member who has no competing interests.