Knowledge Synthesis Hub

Welcome to the CRE HiPP Knowledge Synthesis Hub

CRE HiPP will generate vast new knowledge and consolidate existing knowledge via quantitative and qualitative methodologies, systematic reviews and meta-analyses, and audits of current guidelines and best practice across each of the Research Streams and the Research Theme.

This knowledge will be presented as evidence summaries, lay fact sheets of our guidelines and published peer reviewed papers, and will be centralised here in the Knowledge Synthesis Hub.


Health in Preconception, Pregnancy and Postpartum Workplace Portal

CRE HiPP Chief Investigators, Professors Helen Skouteris and Andrew Hills, along with early and mid career researchers, Seonad Madden (PhD student), Dr Briony Hill Dr Claire Blewitt and Kiran Ahuja, have worked with UTAS and MacKillop Family Services over the last 2 years to pioneer a Health in Preconception, Pregnancy and Postpartum (HiPPP) Workplace Portal. The HiPPP Workplace Portal has been co-designed to provide a “one stop shop” for women, men, people and families to source evidence based information about lifestyle health and maternity/parental leave policies and practices during these reproductive life phases. Click here to view our HiPPP Workplace Portal Implementation Guide that can be used by other organisations to develop and implement a HiPPP Portal.

The research that informed the HiPPP Workplace Portal Implementation Guide includes:

  1. Madden, S. K., Blewitt, C. A., Ahuja, K. D. K., Skouteris, H., Bailey, C. M., Hills, A. P., & Hill, B. (2021). Workplace healthy lifestyle determinants and wellbeing needs across the preconception and pregnancy periods: A qualitative study informed by the COM-B model.International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, 18(8), 4154.
  2. Madden, S. K., Cordon, E. L., Bailey, C.,Skouteris, H., Ahuja, K., Hills, A. P., & Hill B. (2020). The effect of workplace lifestyle programs on diet, physical activity and weight-related outcomes for working women: A systematic review using the TIDieR checklist. Obesity Reviews, 21(10).
  3. Madden, S., Skouteris,H., Bailey, C., Hills, A. P., Ahuja, K. D. K., & Hill, B. (2020). Women in the Workplace: Promoting healthy lifestyles and mitigating weight gain during the preconception, pregnancy and postpartum periods. International Journal on Environmental Research and Public Health, 17(3), 821.

Funding for this project has also been provided by the Australian Government’s Medical Research Future Fund (MRFF) Boosting Preventive Health Research Program, administered through The Australian Prevention Partnership Centre (TAPPC).

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Brokering Innovation Through Evidence (BITE)
Bite-sized summaries of research in preconception, pregnancy and postpartum health, supported by CRE HiPP

The impact of Healthy Conversation Skills training on health professionals’ barriers to having behaviour change conversations

Dr Jenna Hollis, HiPPP EMR-C Conference Co-Chair

19 December 2022

Supporting women to eat healthily and be active is recommended to reduce the risk of poor pregnancy, birth and chronic disease outcomes for both mother and child. Changing people’s behaviour by instruction and advice-giving, as used in traditional healthcare, is usually ineffective, and antenatal care providers report many barriers to having behaviour change conversations with women. This study looks at the impact of training in the Healthy Conversation Skills (HCS) method in increasing the competence of health care providers and addressing some of their barriers in this area.

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Evaluating physical activity apps for pregnant women:
Systematic search and content analysis

Associate Professor Melanie Hayman, HiPPP EMR-C Building Stakeholder Relationships Stream Co-Lead

12 December 2022

Exercise during pregnancy promotes maternal, fetal, and neonatal health. Despite these health benefits, few women are sufficiently active during pregnancy. Increasingly, women are utilising mobile apps to guide their physical activity behaviours during pregnancy, but very little is known about the safety and appropriateness of commercially available apps.

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Antenatal diet quality and perinatal depression: The MUMS
cohort study

Dr Megan Gow, HiPPP EMR-C Conference Co-Chair

2 December 2022

Approximately 12%–16% of women suffer from postpartum depression (PPD) worldwide, and in Australia this figure is 6%–12%. Causes of PPD remain unclear, however, nutrition has been suggested as one modifiable risk factor. This study looks at whether better diet quality during pregnancy can prevent PPD. It also assesses the association between diet and depression during pregnancy, as well as the link between depression during pregnancy and PPD.

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Transcending blame and weight stigma for women in the preconception, pregnancy and postpartum periods

Dr Briony Hill, CRE HiPP Research Fellow

7 November 2022

Millions of Australian women are vulnerable to weight stigma and discrimination during their reproductive years. This problem exists throughout society, and occurs frequently in everyday life. Weight stigma leads to poorer mental and behavioural health, higher stress, decreased access to and uptake of reproductive healthcare, and poorer health outcomes in pregnancy, birth and longer-term maternal-child health.

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The role of traditional and complementary medicine in preconception and pregnancy care in Australia

Dr Amie Steel, HiPPP EMR-C Social Media Co-Lead

2 September 2022

Many traditional and complementary medicine (T&CM) systems emphasise prevention and wellness rather than illness, and are commonly viewed as ‘natural’ and safer than other available treatments. Australian women in the preconception and pregnancy period may access T&CM products, treatments or services to maintain their health, or to treat an underlying health condition. They are a frequently used but often overlooked feature of the Australian perinatal healthcare landscape.

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Assessing the content and quality of digital tools for managing gestational weight gain: A systematic search and evaluation

Bonnie (Chivers) Brammall, Early Career Researcher

28 July 2022

Gestational weight gain (GWG) outside of recommended ranges increases the risk of pregnancy and neonatal complications. Digital health is a popular and widely used source of health information for pregnant women, and online resources can assist them to maintain their health. This study identifies available digital tools that facilitate GWG tracking and evaluates their quality, behaviour change capacity and ability to highlight the importance of optimising GWG.

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Systematic review: Factors impacting health behaviours among women from diverse cultural backgrounds after gestational diabetes

Dr Helena Neven, Early Career Researcher

14 July 2022

Women from some ethnic groups are at greater risk of developing Gestational diabetes (GDM), but recommendations for postpartum engagement in healthy behaviours to mitigate this do not specifically address priority populations. This study synthesises the barriers and enablers of postpartum health behaviours among women from diverse cultural backgrounds with prior GDM, and identifies relevant interventions. 

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A Systematic Review of Clinical Guidelines for Preconception Care

Dr Edwina Dorney, HiPPP EMR-C Building Stakeholder Relationships Co-Lead

23 June 2022

Preconception care (PCC) involves interventions to optimise parental health prior to pregnancy. Barriers to the delivery of PCC include time, and a lack of resources to assist health care providers. This study conducted an assessment of the quality of existing PCC Clinical Practice Guidelines (CPGs) to assist clinicians to deliver high quality and equitable pre-pregnancy care.

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The importance of a healthy lifestyle postpartum

Maureen Makama & Dr Siew Lim , CRE HiPP Researchers

27 October 2021

Women of reproductive age are at an increased risk of obesity due to pregnancy-related weight gain, which has adverse consequences for both mother and child. This study describes the barriers and facilitators to a healthy lifestyle in the first two years postpartum, from the perspective of women and healthcare providers.

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Promoting healthy lifestyles in the workplace for women of reproductive age

Seonad Madden, CRE HiPP Research Assistant

11 October 2021

Workplaces have the capacity to reach large numbers of women during the preconception and pregnancy life phases. This study explores the barriers and enablers to healthy lifestyle behaviours and wellbeing of working women during these periods, and potential workplace interventions.

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Do children of mothers who had metabolic syndrome in pregnancy have shorter telomeres than children of mothers without?

Dr Jessica Grieger, HiPPP EMR-C Early Career Researcher

28 September 2021

This study aimed to determine whether metabolic syndrome, a clustering of cardiovascular risk factors, in pregnancy associates with child telomere length, anthropometry, and blood pressure at 10 years of age.

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Weight Management Across Preconception, Pregnancy & Postpartum - how informative are clinical practice guidelines?

Dr Cheryce Harrison, CRE HiPP Senior Research Fellow

2 September 2021

Women are a vulnerable population for weight gain, with increased barriers to healthy lifestyle behaviours during preconception, pregnancy and postpartum and require specific, high-quality healthcare support for weight management.

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Creating a National Picture of Preconception Health

Dr Danielle Schoenaker, HiPPP EMR-C Social Media Lead

26 August 2021

The health, behaviours and circumstances people live in before becoming pregnant (preconception health) impact the lifelong health of women and men and that of any children they may have. To improve people’s preconception health and reduce inequalities, we need to plan and advocate for programmes and services that meet people’s needs.

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Can a computer-generated health professional provide women with preconception health advice?

Dr Ruth Walker, CRE HiPP Research Fellow

3 June 2021

A computer generated health professional or ‘virtual patient advocate’ called ‘Gabby’ improved the preconception lifestyle behaviours of African American women. This study assessed potential of the Gabby system in preconception women living in Australia.

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