Photo (L to R): Dr Helen Cheyne (University of Stirling), Dr Mechthild Gross (Hannover Medical School), Dr Mary-Ann Davey (La Trobe University), Professor Patti Janssen (University of British Columbia), Professor Helen Spiby (University of Nottingham), and Professor Vanora Hundley (Bournemouth University). Not shown Gillian Hanley (University of British Columbia).
Researchers from across the globe met in Stirling last week to discuss early labour research and to plan an international collaborative study. The meeting was the result of a successful Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR) planning grant to bring together researchers from Canada, Australia, Germany, England and Scotland. We have met on a number of occasions in the last couple of years, but usually at a conference when time is limited, so it was a real luxury to have two full days to discuss early labour care and to plan a possible intervention for women in the latent phase of labour. Although we have all conducted studies in this area, developing a complex intervention for use in five countries raises many novel challenges. Discussion focused on the varying models of care and current guidelines – the NICE and KCND guidelines used in the UK were much appreciated by our international colleagues. We left the meeting invigorated, but also aware that there is much to do. The first step will be a special issue of Midwifery later this year dedicated to early labour and guest edited by two of the team.