Update on Reducing Acquisition of CMV through antenatal Education (RACE-FIT)


July 2017

The call for CMV Action families to take part in the RACE-FIT (Reducing Acquisition of CMV through Antenatal Education) was very successful so many thanks to all of you who have registered to take part in an interview with a researcher from the team. 

So far five families affected by CMV have been interviewed about their experiences of CMV and the impact that CMV may have had on them.  The resulting material will be used in the production of a short film which it is hoped will commence filming in September.  The core story of the film will be a pregnant women’s journey through pregnancy and is intended to be used to educate women about hygiene measures that can be taken to reduce the risk of catching CMV whilst pregnant.

There will be another wave of interviews in August

Focus groups and interviews with key experts, to also feed into the filming process, will take place in September and October and we hope to bring you more information on these soon.


CMV Action are delighted to be taking part in a new UK research project “Reducing Acquisition of CMV through antenatal Education (RACE-FIT)” which has been launched to assess an educational intervention to reduce the risk of catching cytomegalovirus (CMV) infection in pregnancy.

CMV is the most common infection to be contracted before birth and about 20% of babies infected with CMV in this way will have permanent health problems, such as hearing loss, learning delay or physical impairments.  Simple hygiene measures may reduce the risk of catching CMV whilst pregnant, and therefore, also the risk of passing on the infection to the unborn baby.  In the UK, pregnant women are not routinely told about these hygiene measures.

Before we can embark on a large-scale study to determine the effectiveness of an education intervention in reducing CMV infection in pregnancy, we need to develop education material and test the feasibility of such a large study.  Doctors at St. Georges University of London, in partnership with CMV Action, will work together with experts from Kingston University, University College London and Cambridge University to develop and test the educational material.  The study has been funded by the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) and approved by the NHS Research Ethics Committee.

The educational material will most likely take the form of a short film and will be developed in partnership with members of the public to ensure the content is relevant, clear and sensitive.

RACE-FIT team are keen to consult families and carers who have been affected by CMV in order to seek your view and opinions.  CMV Action have agreed to help with the study and to identify people who would be prepared to participate in an interview with a researcher from the team.

The interview will last no longer than 60 minutes and can take place in your home or at a convenient location. More information about this invitation can be found here

Even if you do not wish to be interviewed, there are different ways and opportunities in which you could be involved with the project and we would ask you to consider contacting the RACE-FIT team for further information (please see the information sheet above for contact details). Other ways that you may wish to be involved include taking part in the educational film or reviewing the content at a later stage.

We really hope you will be able to help by participating in the project.  This important research has been prioritised by NIHR and is urgently needed to find the best way of giving CMV risk reduction advice in the NHS.  We hope it will lead to more families being educated about the simple hygiene precautions that can protect their baby. 

Your opinion, views and experiences of CMV are very important to us so please do consider taking part. 





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