Inclusion criteria - University of the Sunshine Coast, Queensland, Australia

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Inclusion criteria

Guide to participant selection for Health Service staff

Mothers can be recruited to join the study BEFORE their baby is born OR baby may be aged from 0 to 2 months at the time of enrolment in the study.

ONE OR BOTH parents must identify as Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander.

In addition, one or more of the following risk factors must be present. This is the reason why you consider the baby to be at risk of sudden unexpected death in infancy (SUDI).

Referrals will not be accepted unless the following information is provided:

  • maternal smoking during pregnancy and/or postnatal
  • parents and carers who smoke near or around their baby
  • intention to bed-share (regularly or irregularly)
  • recent & current drug use * (* includes prescription medication)
  • regular alcohol use
  • pre-term birth (≤36weeks)
  • low birth weight (<2500 grams)

Participants must also agree to share safe infant sleeping knowledge with their family and social networks.

Information about the research study

Consenting participants will have demographic and contact data collected and receive the complete intervention.

The Pēpi-Pod® Program (Safe Sleep Enabler) has three key components which are interlinked. This program comprises a safe sleep enabler, incorporated within the context of safe sleeping health promotion, together with a family commitment to share the safe sleeping messages with their family’s social network.

Data collection

Data collection will occur through face-to-face and/or telephone interviews with participants in their home or local health service. Data collection will be conducted by the local Health Service staff known to each participating family or by the research team by specific arrangement.

First follow-up contact and data collection will occur two weeks after receipt of the pēpi-pod package and then, ideally, monthly thereafter for six months or until such time as the baby is no longer using the pēpi-pod when sleeping.

Data collected
  • Circumstances of how the pēpi-pod has, or has not, been used;
  • Limitations/adverse events associated with the pēpi-pod;
  • Parental/carer and family knowledge and understanding of SUDI risk factors and strategies to enhance infant safety;
  • Participant feedback on research processes, paperwork and resources.

A full orientation and safety briefing on how to use the pēpi-pod according to safe infant sleeping recommendations will be given by the Chief Investigator and study team to Health Service staff prior to Health Service staff providing the Pēpi-Pod®sleep space package to each participating family.

The Pēpi-Pod® sleep space package:

One (1) ‘pēpi-pod’ (safe sleep enabler) package consisting of:

  • A general purpose 100% polypropylene (food grade plastic) box (72cmL x 40cmW x 16cmD) transformed into an infant bed through the addition of an upholstery-density, fabric covered, water proofed mattress which has been cut-to-size specifically for this purpose.

The 2015 version of the pēpi-pod has been modified in response to parent feedback:

  • 4cm wider: to extend age of use (0-5 months).
  • Window for reassurance and connection: babies open their eyes to familiar faces and places; parents can easily see baby when lying next to baby.
  • Ventilation slits at head end: allow for airflow around baby’s face.
  • Day-Night symbols to prompt repositioning of baby’s head: ‘In the night towards the right, in the day the other way’ is a single prompt aided by icons to help prevent flattened spots on baby’s head.
  • Safety information etched into base: daily airing of bedding exposes safety information etched in to pod base, which includes the program website.
  • Marks for positioning of adult bedding: marks on pod sides guide placement of adult bedding when pod maybe used in an adult bed.
  • Bedding Pack 1 includes: Two (2) bottom sheets which cover mattress like a pillow case, two (2) wrap-around sheets (with Indigenous artwork fabric strip) and one (1) light-weight merino
    (woollen) blanket. Participants will be able to choose from a selection of designs.

All bedding has been specifically produced to fit the pēpi-pod and no substitutions can be made.

Identifying babies at risk

“The Triple Risk Theory is an excellent model that can be used to explain the ways in which a sudden infant death can occur, however, it cannot currently be used as a model to predict a death.

This is because it is not possible to identify all infants that are in the ‘vulnerable’ infant category. In practice this means that we have to assume that all infants are 'vulnerable'.”

Key points to remember in regards to the Triple Risk Theory are:

  • no one risk factor in isolation is likely to be sufficient to cause death
  • provided the infant survives the first year of life the risk factor may no longer be of any significance
  • when a vulnerable infant is confronted with one or more stressful situations (risk factors), from which the majority of infants normally escape, the combination may prove fatal.

More information

For more information contact:

Professor Jeanine Young
Tel: +61 7 5456 4549
Mobile: +61 7 043890351

Download the Pēpi-pod Program® Inclusion criteria (PDF 259KB)

This study has been approved by the University of the Sunshine Coast [USCHRECA/14/558] and Children’s Health Services Human Research Ethics Committee [CHQHREC/13/QRCH/200].