Objectives: To describe variation across Europe in PERISTAT indicators of health care in the perinatal period, and to assess the comparability of these indicators.
Study design: The PERISTAT feasibility study provides the source for this descriptive study, covering 15 European countries. Comparative analysis includes descriptions of births following management of sub-fertility, timing of first antenatal visit, onset of labour, mode of delivery, place of birth, preterm births in units without NICU, and breast-feeding uptake.
Results: There is broad variation in the availability to provide data on perinatal indicators, and in perinatal health care across the European Union.
Conclusions: This paper describes the challenge of identifying indicators that are meaningful and robust for the full distribution of health care systems represented in the European Union. Further work is needed to ensure that the implementation of each indicator is comparable across member states.