What is the quality of the maternal near-miss case reviews in WHO European Region? Cross-sectional study in Armenia, Georgia, Latvia, Republic of Moldova and Uzbekistan

Alberta Bacci, Stelian Hodorogea, Henrik Khachatryan, Shohida Babojonova, Signe Irsa, Maira Jansone, Iurie Dondiuc, George Matarazde, Gunta Lazdane, Marzia Lazzerini

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


Objectives The maternal near-miss case review (NMCR) cycle is a type of clinical audit aiming at improving quality of maternal healthcare by discussing near-miss cases. In several countries this approach has been introduced and supported by WHO and partners since 2004, but information on the quality of its implementation is missing. This study aimed at evaluating the quality of the NMCR implementation in selected countries within WHO European Region. Design Cross-sectional study. Settings Twenty-three maternity units in Armenia, Georgia, Latvia, Moldova and Uzbekistan. Assessment tools A predefined checklist including 50 items, according to WHO methodology. Quality in the NMCR implementation was defined by summary scores ranging from 0 (totally inappropriate) to 3 (appropriate). Results Quality of the NMCR implementation was heterogeneous among different countries, and within the same country. Overall, the first part of the audit cycle (from case identification to case analysis) was fairly well performed (mean score 2.00, 95% CI 1.94 to 2.06), with the exception of the â € inclusion of users' views' (mean score 0.66, 95% CI 0.11 to 1.22), while the second part (developing recommendations, implementing them and ensuring quality) was poorly performed (mean score 0.66, 95% CI 0.11 to 1.22). Each country had at least one champion facility, where quality of the NMCR cycle was acceptable. Quality of the implementation was not associated with its duration. Gaps in implementation were of technical, organisational and attitudinal nature. Conclusions Ensuring quality in the NMCR may be difficult but achievable. The high heterogeneity in results within the same country suggests that quality of the NMCR implementation depends, to a large extent, from hospital factors, including staff's commitment, managerial support and local coordination. Efforts should be put in preventing and mitigating common barriers that hamper successful NMCR implementation.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere017696
JournalBMJ Open
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Apr 1 2018



  • maternal health
  • middle-income countries
  • near-miss case review
  • quality of care
  • standard-based assessment

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine(all)

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