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Welcome to MatCHES

The Mothers and their Children’s Healthcare Experience Study (MatCHES) is investigating women’s experiences of preventive healthcare from before conception through to pregnancy and early childhood. We’re looking for women born between 1989-1995 who have given birth to children aged between 0-7 years to share their thoughts on pre-conception healthcare in a focus group.

Be involved

If you choose to participate in MatCHES, you’ll take part in a 60-90 minute focus group held at the University of Queensland’s Herston campus. In the focus group, you’ll be asked questions about your experiences with healthcare services before becoming pregnant and during pregnancy. You’ll also help us to review and develop questions on preconception care for the new MatCHES survey. To reimburse you for your time, you’ll be given a $30 Coles gift card.

PDF icon Read our participant information statement to learn more 

Getting to the focus group

The focus groups will be held in Room 418 of the Public Health Building, at the University of Queensland Herston campus. This room is located on the top floor of the Public Health Building.

Free parking on campus can be arranged, please contact the MatCHES team at matches@uq.edu.au

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Frequently asked questions (FAQs)

We know that mothers and their children’s health are closely linked. Research has shown that women’s health prior to and during pregnancy has important impacts on the lifelong health of their children. However, while there are extensive guidelines for preconception, antenatal, and child preventive healthcare in Australia, evidence suggests that there are issues with real-world implementation of these guidelines. MatCHES will look at engagement with and experiences of preventive healthcare from before conception, through to pregnancy and early childhood, among Australian mothers born between 1989-1995. We want to examine how effective this care is, and any issues relating to uptake and access.

If you are a woman born in 1989-95 who has given birth to a living child who is aged between 0-7 years old, are living in Brisbane, and can speak English, you can take part in MatCHES.

If you are current participant of Women’s Health Australia/the Australian Longitudinal Study on Women’s Health, you are not able to take part in this first stage of MatCHES. However, you will be invited to participate in 2022.


If you agree to participate in MatCHES, you’ll be asked to take part in a focus group with the researchers and other participants, which will be recorded. In the focus group, you will be asked questions about your experiences with healthcare services prior to becoming pregnant and during pregnancy. You will also be shown survey questions about healthcare prior to conception and during pregnancy and asked your opinion about these questions, including ideas about how to improve the questions, and whether we’ve missed anything important. Your role in MatCHES will be to help us to develop questions for the MatCHES survey.

Yes, you are welcome to bring your child/ren to the focus group.

The information collected in the focus group will be used to inform the development of the MatCHES survey. The findings of the focus group and direct quotes from discussions in the focus group may be published and/or presented in a variety of forms, such as reports, papers in scientific journals, and conference presentations. In any publication or presentation, information will be provided in such a way that you cannot be identified.

All information collected about you will remain confidential. Any identifying information (e.g., name, email address) will be kept separate from the information you provide during the focus group, so that it can’t be linked back to you. Only members of the research team (including research assistants and the data management team) will have access to data that identifies you, unless: (1) you have consented otherwise; or (2) we are required by law to release this information to comply with our regulatory obligations.


An external organisation may be employed to transcribe the focus group. The chosen organisation will be bound by strict internal confidentiality policies to protect any identifying details shared during the focus group (which will be removed from the transcript).


The recording of the focus group (before it is deleted), the transcript of the focus group, and any personal identifying information will be managed and stored securely in accordance with the University’s Research Data Management Policies and Procedures or any successor Guideline (as amended from time to time). Data will be stored for a minimum of 5 years from completion of the research.

The focus group will be recorded, and a word-for-word written document, called a transcript, will be made from the recording. Any information that might identify you or another participant will be removed from the transcript (e.g., instead of names, participants will be given codes). You can request to edit the transcript, and to withdraw any comments you have made, up until your personal details are removed from the file. The recording of the focus group will be deleted once analysis of the focus group is complete.

After participating in the focus group, you will receive a $30 Coles gift card. Your contributions will help us develop a survey to discover more about women’s engagement with and experiences of preventive healthcare from preconception through to pregnancy and early childhood. This is important, as we’ll use this information to develop evidence-based recommendations to improve preventive healthcare for women before and during pregnancy.

There’s a small risk that you may find some of the questions or discussion in the focus group uncomfortable to answer. Specifically, some of the survey questions you will be evaluating discuss pregnancy outcomes, including miscarriage, stillbirth, and having a child who was born alive but has since died. If you start to feel uncomfortable or upset at any time, you can choose to leave the focus group or speak with the researcher during or after the focus group has ended. You don’t have to answer every question during the focus group. If you are feeling distressed, you may also like to discuss your feelings with someone at Lifeline (phone 13 11 14) or 1800 Respect (phone 1800 737 732).

Your participation in this research is voluntary and you are free to withdraw from the research at any time, without needing to provide any explanation. You can withdraw by contacting the researchers (g.mishra@sph.uq.edu.au). You would not receive any penalty or bias because of your withdrawal. You can withdraw your information from the focus group up until the point that personal identifiers are removed from the transcript of the recording. After this point, it will not be possible to identify your data to remove it.

If you would like to receive a summary of the results of the focus group, and/or of the full MatCHES study when it has been completed, please indicate this in the relevant section on the consent form.

MatCHES is being lead by Professor Gita Mishra at The University of Queensland.

MatCHES is funded by the Medical Research Future Fund.

This study adheres to the Guidelines of the ethical review process of The University of Queensland and the National Statement on Ethical Conduct in Human Research. Whilst you are free to discuss your participation in this study with the researcher contactable on g.mishra@sph.uq.edu.au, if you would like to speak to an officer of the University not involved in the study, you may contact the Ethics Coordinator on +617 3365 3924 / +617 3443 1656 or email humanethics@research.uq.edu.au.

Get in touch

If you have any questions, please contact the MatCHES research team on matches@uq.edu.au or 07 3365 5598.