How can we improve global women’s health research after 2015?

We will discuss “Global women’s health: Current clinical trials in low and middle-income countries” by Merriel and co-workers from 25 February 2015 for 7 days.

*This paper will be made free-to-view on 11 February 2015.

Related conference: you may also be interested in attending Global Women’s Research Society (GLOW) Conference 2015, Reaching Every Woman and Every Newborn: The Post-2015 Research Agenda, on 4 March 2015. More details here or follow @GLOWconfUK.

Linked article: This article is commented on by AM Gülmezoglu, and J Bell and F Donnay, p. 199 and p. 200 in this issue. To view these mini commentaries visit and

Start date: 25 February 2015 (the discussion will open for 7 days)

First hosted discussion session(s) starts at: BST 7pm (UK time)

Host: @BlueJCHost

Platforms: Twitter

The Blue Journal Club is an international journal club on women’s health research based on Twitter (as @BlueJCHost). We start our conversation on the last Wednesday of every month and use the hashtag #BlueJC for our tweets. Simply add this hashtag (“#BlueJC”) to each tweet and we will capture it. Each #BlueJC opens for 7 days with an advertised start time. All BJOG #BlueJC papers also have complementary slide sets suitable for face-to-face journal clubs with your local colleagues. You can access the slide set of this paper here (data S1).

The discussion points are attached below (quoted from the published manuscript)


During an international women’s health conference, a keynote speaker gave an overview of current clinical trials in low- and middle-income countries (LMICs). At the end of the plenary, she asked ‘how can we improve research in global women’s health after the era of Millennium Development Goals (MDGs)?’

Description of research

Participants All active randomised trials in LMICs registered on the WHO International Clinical Trials Registry Platform (ICTRP) between 1 April 2012 and 31 March 2014.
Intervention Trials of women’s health interventions or with a significant outcome for women.
Comparison Not applicable.
Outcomes Number of trials, their geographical spread, study size, speciality areas and sources of funding, and whether the trials were registered pre-enrolment.
Study design Review of the WHO ICTRP database.

Discussion Points

  • What are Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)?
  • What are the differences between MDGs and SDGs? Which SDG is particularly relevant to women’s health?
  • Summarise the geographical spread and study size of the reported studies. How do they influence the implementation of research findings?
  • What are the potential benefits and pitfalls of the observed differences between women’s health research in low-income countries (LICs) and middle-income countries (MICs)?
  • The authors recognise that a some of trials were missed by the WHO ICTRP. How could we tackle this problem?
  • Only half of the trials were registered before enrolment. Why is pre-enrolment registration important?
  • How can we improve women’s health research in LMICs after 2015 based on the results of this study?

Suggested reading

For those who want to understand hashtags, this may be a useful guide. For an introduction to #BlueJC, please refer to BJOG 2013;120:657–60. Follow @BlueJCHostthis blog and our Facebook page to receive news about #BlueJC.