Dr. Andrea Woolner, SCREDS Clinical Lecturer and Honorary Specialty trainee registrar in Obstetrics and Gynaecology within the IAHS, was awarded 1st place of the Harold Malkin Prize in January 2015 from the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists (RCOG). This prestigious award is awarded to the applicant who submits the best original research work while being of a Specialty registrar grade in a hospital in the UK or Republic of Ireland. The Prize is made available annually through the generosity of the late Mr Harold Malkin FRCOG.
As a SCREDS (Scottish Clinical Research Excellence Development Scheme) Clinical Lecturer Andrea is a clinical academic trainee working 20% of her time within the Division and 80% pursuing her clinical specialty training in Obstetrics and Gynaecology at Aberdeen Maternity Hospital and Aberdeen Royal Infirmary.
The award winning research paper was published in BJOG in 2014 and is titled 'The effect of method and gestational age at termination of pregnancy on future obstetric and perinatal outcomes: a register-based cohort study in Aberdeen, Scotland'. Her research study was a retrospective register-based cohort study using routinely collected hospital data held within the Aberdeen Maternity and Neonatal Databank (AMND). The AMND holds all routinely collected reproductive-related data for women under the jurisdiction of Aberdeen Maternity Hospital. Andrea was supervised by Head of Division, Professor Siladitya Bhattacharya and Lecturer in Obstetric Epidemiology Dr Sohinee Bhattacharya. The study’s research aim was to determine if termination of pregnancy, and specifically different methods and gestational ages at termination, would adversely affect a woman’s future risk of preterm delivery of a subsequent baby. This is an important topic as many women who undergo a termination of pregnancy are likely to become pregnant again and so consequences of such procedures to future pregnancies is of utmost importance to women, clinicians and researchers alike. Preterm birth remains a huge cause of perinatal morbidity and mortality.
Andrea used an anonymised dataset of over 45,000 women and used statistical tests to compare women in their second pregnancy that had undergone a termination in their first pregnancy to women who had continued their first pregnancy. The study found no associated increased risk of spontaneous preterm delivery when the groups of women were compared. Neither the method nor gestational age at time of termination had any effect on the lack of association. However there were few terminations performed at late gestational age (≥13 weeks) within this sample. The global evidence in this area is conflicting, and this study highlighted that unanswered questions remain on the obstetric and perinatal outcomes following termination of pregnancy.
Woolner A, Bhattacharya S, Bhattacharya S. The effect of method and gestational age at termination of pregnancy on future obstetric and perinatal outcomes: a register-based cohort study in Aberdeen, Scotland. BJOG 2014; 121:309-318.