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Table 1 A research pipeline advancing knowledge to address preterm birth.

From: Born Too Soon: Accelerating actions for prevention and care of 15 million newborns born too soon

  Description Discovery Development Delivery
  Characterise the problem Understand the problem Create and develop new interventions Advance equitable access to interventions
Research aim Descriptive epidemiology to understand determinants, advance definitions Development of new interventions or adapting or improving existing interventions Development of new interventions or adapting or improving existing interventions Delivery of interventions at scale through innovative approaches
Preterm prevention research themes • Improve collection, analysis, interpretation, application of epidemiological data for:
• Refining, disseminating standard definitions of exposures, outcomes and phenotypes
• Further understanding of risk factors for preterm birth
• Monitoring and evaluating impact of interventions
• Improving the estimates and data collection systems
• Increase knowledge of the biology of normal and abnormal pregnancy
• Better understand modifiable mechanisms contributing to preterm birth (e.g., preconceptual or antenatal nutrition, infection and immune response)
• Advance understanding of underlying pathophysiology of preterm newborns and impact of co-morbidities on outcomes in different country settings
• Create, develop new interventions (e.g., novel approaches to preventing preterm birth)
• Adapt existing interventions to increase effect, reduce cost, or expand utilisation and access
• Evaluate impact, cost and process of known interventions to reduce preterm birth (e.g., family planning, STI management, malaria prevention)
• Social behaviour change research to address lifestyle factors and other risks for preterm birth
• Effective approaches to increase use of antenatal steroids in low- and middle-income settings
Premature baby care research themes    • Create new devices and drugs for preterm babies that are feasible to use in low-income settings
• Adapt existing interventions to increase effect, reduce cost, and/or improve deliverability in challenging settings or at community level (e.g., robust, simpler technologies)
• Implementation research to adapt and scale up context-specific packages of care for preterm babies (e.g., examining task shifting, innovative commodities, etc.)
• Create and implement effective community-based approaches (e.g., community health workers home visit packages, women's' groups)
Typical timeline to impact Near-term to Long-term (2 to 15 years) Long-term (5 to 15 years) Medium-term (5 to 10 years) Near-term (2 to 5 years)
  1. Source: Born Too Soon, Chapter 6 [75]. Adapted from Lawn et al., 2008; Rubens et al., 2010.