Implementation of child death review in the Netherlands: Results of a pilot study

Sandra Knoeff-Gijzen, Michaëla I. Hilhorst, Monique P. L'Hoir, Magdalena M. Boere-Boonekamp, Ariana Need

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Background Child mortality in the Netherlands declined gradually in the past decades. In total 1130 children and youth aged 0 to 19 years died in 2014 (i.e. 29.4 per 100,000 live births). A better understanding of the background and the circumstances surrounding the death of children as well as the manner and cause of death may lead to preventive measures. Child Death Review (CDR) is a method to systematically analyze child deaths by a multidisciplinary team to identify avoidable factors that may have contributed to the death and to give directions for prevention. CDR could be an addition to further reduce avoidable child deaths in the Netherlands. The purpose of this study is to explore the strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats (SWOT) of the pilot-implementation of CDR in a Dutch region. The results are translated in recommendations for future implementation of the CDR method in the Netherlands. Methods Children who lived in the pilot region and died aged 29 days after birth until 2 years were, after parental consent, included for reviewing by a regional CDR team. Eighteen logs and seven transcribed records of CDR meetings concerning 6 deceased children were analyzed using Atlas ti. The SWOT framework was used to identify important themes. Results The most important strengths identified were the expertise of and cooperation within the CDR team and the available materials. An important weakness was the poor cooperation of some professional groups. The fact that parents and professionals endorse the objective of CDR was an important opportunity. The lack of statutory basis was a threat. Conclusions Many obstacles need to be taken away before large-scale implementation of CDR in the Netherlands becomes possible. The most important precondition for implementation is the acceptance among professionals and the statutory basis of the CDR method
Original languageEnglish
Article number235
Pages (from-to)-
JournalBMC health services research
Issue number235
Publication statusPublished - 2016


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