Laura O’Byrne, MBBS MRCOG MSc
INFANT Research Centre

For the ISOQOL 2022 Annual Conference in Prague, I am delighted to have presented the abstract titled “Patient reported outcome measures evaluating postpartum maternal health related quality of life: a systematic review and evaluation of measurement properties.

This is the first project of my PhD and is a systematic review and evaluation of measurement properties. This review examines the current available tools, or patient-reported outcome measures (PROMs), in the literature examining postpartum care and wellbeing. The review also includes grading of the tools’ psychometric properties. We found two things:

  1. No tool currently covers all domains of health and wellbeing.
  2. The available tools, even in combination, currently do not cover all domains of postpartum care that are important to women.

Project Background

For this review, we followed the robust COSMIN guidelines on assessing the quality of the tools available and were able to give a recommendation for each, including recommendations of the top-performing tools available. We also mapped out what domains of postpartum health and wellbeing each tool covered.

Our research on PROMs in postpartum care is one component of a larger study focusing on improving care and outcomes for mothers and their babies, using data from Ireland’s Maternal and Newborn Clinical Management System. Our work is supported by Health Research Board (HRB) Ireland and the National Perinatal Epidemiology Centre (NPEC) in Cork, Ireland. Our team comprises obstetricians, epidemiologists and statisticians. 

What this Means for the Future

The future course of this work can take two directions: one is to develop a new tool from scratch while working with postpartum women. The other is doing the necessary work to further validate and evaluate a combination of the currently available tools, to see if they can be used to develop an overall PROM that women are happy to use and that can identify differences in women’s health care.

We are excited to have had the chance to present this work at ISOQOL 2022 and had the chance to learn more from others doing similar work in this area.


This newsletter editorial represents the views of the author and does not necessarily reflect the views of ISOQOL. 

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The International Society for Quality of Life Research (ISOQOL) is a global community of researchers, clinicians, health care professionals, industry professionals, consultants, and patient research partners advancing health related quality of life research (HRQL).

Together, we are creating a future in which patient perspective is integral to health research, care and policy.