Systematic analysis of research underfunding in maternal and perinatal health.

Fisk, N.M and Atun, R. (2009) Systematic analysis of research underfunding in maternal and perinatal health.. British Journal of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, 116 3: 347-356. doi:10.1111/j.1471-0528.2008.02027.x

Author Fisk, N.M
Atun, R.
Title Systematic analysis of research underfunding in maternal and perinatal health.
Journal name British Journal of Obstetrics and Gynaecology   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 1470-0328
Publication date 2009-02
Year available 2009
Sub-type Critical review of research, literature review, critical commentary
DOI 10.1111/j.1471-0528.2008.02027.x
Volume 116
Issue 3
Start page 347
End page 356
Total pages 10
Editor Philip J Steer
Emily Jesper
Place of publication London, U.K.
Publisher Wiley-Blackwell Publishing Ltd
Collection year 2010
Language eng
Subject C1
111402 Obstetrics and Gynaecology
Abstract BACKGROUND: Little published evidence supports the widely held contention that research in pregnancy is underfunded compared with other disease areas. OBJECTIVES: To assess absolute and relative government and charitable funding for maternal and perinatal research in the UK and internationally. SEARCH STRATEGY, SELECTION CRITERIA, DATA COLLECTION, AND ANALYSIS: Major research funding bodies and alliances were identified from an Internet search and discussions with opinion leaders/senior investigators. Websites and annual reports were reviewed for details of strategy, research spend, grants awarded, and allocation to maternal and/or perinatal disease using generic and disease-specific search terms. MAIN RESULTS: Within the imprecision in the data sets, < or =1% of health research spend in the UK was on maternal/perinatal health. Other countries fared better with 1-4% investment, although nonexclusive categorisation may render this an overestimate. In low-resource settings, government funders focused on infectious disease but not maternal and perinatal health despite high relative disease burden, while global philanthropy concentrated on service provision rather than research. Although research expenditure has been deemed as appropriate for 'reproductive health' disease burden in the UK, there are no data on the equity of maternal/perinatal research spend against disease burden, which globally may justify a manyfold increase. AUTHOR'S CONCLUSIONS: This systematic review of research expenditure and priorities from national and international funding bodies suggests relative underinvestment in maternal/perinatal health. Contributing factors include the low political priority given to women's health, the challenging nature of clinical research in pregnancy, and research capacity dearth as a consequence of chronic underinvestment.
Keyword Disease burden
Maternal–fetal medicine
R&D funding
Research grants
Q-Index Code C1
Q-Index Status Confirmed Code

Document type: Journal Article
Sub-type: Critical review of research, literature review, critical commentary
Collections: UQ Centre for Clinical Research Publications
2010 Higher Education Research Data Collection
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Citation counts: TR Web of Science Citation Count  Cited 11 times in Thomson Reuters Web of Science Article | Citations
Scopus Citation Count Cited 10 times in Scopus Article | Citations
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Created: Mon, 12 Oct 2009, 11:31:04 EST by Carmen Buttery on behalf of UQ Centre for Clinical Research