May 2016 meeting

Advancing Perinatal Trials; Maternal and Childhood Follow-up and Priority Topics

The annual PSANZ Congress is always a great opportunity for IMPACT members to gather and this year we were in tropical far north Queensland. The meeting was very well attended with a record 65 registrants. Lex Doyle opened the meeting with an eloquent talk titled ‘Follow-up of High-risk Infants – Strategies and Pitfalls’ highlighting to attendees the importance of high quality longer term follow-up and (sadly) the high cost of it. This was followed by current trial updates from active IMPACT members Jane Alsweiler, Carmel Collins, Nicola Austin and Vanessa Murphy and our regular slot of two minute updates from the on-going major IMPACT led multi-centre trials. Our second invited speaker, Stephanie Brown, shed some light on how her team have successfully engaged with specific cultural groups in longer term follow-up studies. Next came a session on proposed clinical trials from Paul Dawson, Camille Raynes-Greeenow and Waseem Buksh providing an opportunity for these investigators to engage with and ask questions of the IMPACT audience. We ended day one continuing with new ideas;  Katie and Lucille asked the question whether clinical trials could be nurtured from within IMPACT and grown through a concept development workshop. This notion was enthusiastically supported and expanded on the next day in preparation for the Sydney workshop held in August.

Day two saw Jon Barrett offering a valuable international perspective on the follow up of large perinatal cohorts and how these may be used in clinical trials longer term evaluation. More new trial proposals were then presented by Miranda Davies-Tuck, Sailesh Kumar, Tim Schindler and Koert de Waal. In a new IMPACT innovation each proposal discussion was skilfully co-ordinated by our senior IMPACT member facilitators ensuring investigators were able to maximise input from the IMPACT audience. The final session included development of ideas for priority topics for IMPACT member research including presentations from Jonathan Morris on the role of cervical cerclage and Ben Mol on the role of tocolysis, this was followed by break-out groups brain storming research ideas and IMPACT priorities. The discussion was lively and generated major interest in the first IMPACT Concept Development Workshop.