Adult outcomes after repeat doses of antenatal steroids from nationally collected data

Project Code: 10446051

Faculty: Liggins Institute

Department: Liggins Institute

Main Supervisor: Dist Prof Jane Harding

Principal investigator: Professor Caroline Crowther

Application open date: 22 Feb 2019

Application deadline: 31 Jan 2021

Enrolment information: NZ Citizens, NZ Permanent Residents, International


Steroids given to women at risk of preterm birth markedly reduce the risk of serious illness in their newborn babies.  Repeat doses are recommended if birth is delayed, but effects on adult health are not known.

We have completed the ACTORDS randomised trial comparing single with repeat doses of steroids, and have assessed those children’s growth and development at 6-8 years. 

This project will involve assessing whether nationally collected data held in the government Integrated Data Structure (IDI) can be used to determine adult outcomes of babies whose mothers took part in the ACTORDS trial.  

What we are looking for in a successful applicant

Masters or Honours degree or equivalent in a health or education-related discipline and a clinical background. Examples include (but are not limited to) neonatology, nursing, midwifery, paediatrics, obstetrics, public health, developmental or educational psychology, education.

Scholarships and awards are available to support Honours, Masters and PhD students at the Liggins Institute, including a Liggins Institute 'Start Up' Doctoral Scholarship for your first year's fees. Find out more.


Use the ACTORDS cohort to: 

i) Compare IDI data with that collected by individual assessment at 6-8 years.

ii) Assess education, employment, health and social outcomes in young adulthood. 

Other information

Here is more information about the ACTORDS study.

Here are links to the supervisors' biographies:

Relevant publications:

Crowther CA, Haslam RR, Hillier JE, Doyle LW, Robinson JS, for the Australasian Collaborative Trial of Repeat Doses of Steroids (ACTORDS) Study Group.  Neonatal respiratory distress syndrome after repeat exposure to antenatal corticosteroids: a randomised controlled trial.  Lancet 367: 1913-1919, 2006.

Crowther CA, Doyle LW, Haslam RR, Hiller JE, Harding JE, Robinson JS, for the ACTORDS Study Group.  Outcomes at 2 years of age after repeat doses of antenatal corticosteroids.  New England Journal of Medicine 357: 1179-89, 2007.

McKinlay CJD, Cutfield WS, Battin MR, Dalziel SR, Crowther CA, Harding JE on behalf of the ACTORDS Study Group.  Cardiovascular risk factors in children after repeat doses of antenatal glucocorticoids: an RCT.  Pediatrics 135: e405-415, 2015. DOI: 10.1542/peds.2014-2408

Crowther CA, Anderson PJ, McKinlay CJD, Harding JE, Ashwood PJ, Haslam, RR, Robinson JS, Doyle LW for the ACTORDS Follow-up Group.  Mid-childhood outcomes of repeat antenatal corticosteroids: a randomized controlled trial.  Pediatrics 138, e20160947, 2016.

Crowther CA, McKinlay CJD, Middleton P, Brown J, Harding JE.  Repeat doses of prenatal corticosteroids for women at risk of preterm birth for improving neonatal health outcomes.  Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews Issue 7, Art. No.: CD003935. DOI: 10.1002/14651858.CD003935.pub4, 2015.

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