An Innovative Health Professionals Training Program to support maternal health

BCM in Malta

The Maltese partners for the BCM ERASMUS+ project, Prof Jean Calleja-Agius from the Faculty of Medicine and Surgery and Dr Rita Pace Parascadalo from the Faculty of Health Sciences at the University of Malta, have successfully carried out all the deliverables. An onsite meeting was held at the Valletta Campus on the 25th of February 2022 ( ). All the material for the BCM website and the online resources have been translated into Maltese. There were 12 participants, mainly midwives, who took part in the pilot training, together with the pre-and post-KAP test. The mothers’ survey was very well received, and 226 mothers answered it in full. There were 36 midwives working at the national hospital, Malter Dei Hospital, who attended the multiplier event, which was held at the Headquarters of the Malta Midwives Association on the 1st of December 2022. During the duration of the project, a local midwife carried out a focus group among Maltese mothers to specifically discuss the concerns related to body image (which she also published:,146168,0,2.html ), and she also presented her findings during the multiplier event. Dissemination of all these activities featured in the newsletter of the University of Malta (Newspoint:; ) and even on the local national radio service.


Multiplier event in Serbia 


BCM final meeting in Italy

The final meeting took place in Ferrara, Italy, on the 9th of December. The partners went over all the objectives of the project and concluded that all of them had been met, even though the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic had significantly impacted the project. Some partners have been more affected than others due to various structural and social challenges.

One discussion was that through the conduct of this project, the partners discovered that women of children with congenital abnormalities are less likely to indicate that their own mental health and body image is an important issue to be addressed. Much discussion emerged about the fact that mothers are generally expected to put their children’s needs above their own and that this may be even more salient in the case of having children with congenital abnormalities. The group discussed the potential for follow-up projects to explore the mental health of mothers of children with congenital abnormalities.  



BCM Pilot training 

The partners trained 171 individuals via the pilot training, which was well above the envisioned target of 75 - 100 individuals in the application. The pilot training was facilitated via different training modalities, such as face-to-face and via learning platforms.  The partners implemented a KAP test in order to measure knowledge acquisition, and the data showed a significant increase post and even after three months.




Multiplier event in Greece

On  10/11/2022, our Greek partner held a multiplier event that attracted 89 participants from the following institutions:

  • DIPAE- Μidwifery
  • DIPAE-Nursing
  • Health Center Neapolis
  • Papanikolaou General Hospital

The participants enjoyed the event and thought that the developed BCM material was really useful and increased their knowledge rapidly in this field.




Multiplier in Estonia

On May 20, 2022, Unimed Clinic's annual Spring Conference for healthcare professionals took place in Pärnu, Estonia, with 370 participants. During the conference, several satellite sessions were held, where project coordinator Triin Jagomägi (University of Tartu) promoted the Erasmus+ project BCM (Body Confident Mums) and introduced its activities and main goals.



Meeting in Niš, Serbia 

A small meeting took place at the University of Niš, involving nine consortium participants. The project coordinator gave an update on the project's current status, and after that, the partners presented the current stages of piloting the developed training material.

Sweden informed that they had utilised an online learning platform to facilitate the training course. It took a considerable time to upload and design the course for an online version. The course has been introduced to relevant students at Kristianstad University, midwifery students at Lunds University, and healthcare professionals. Kristianstad University also developed an online training course in English. The partners are welcome to use the online course if they want to.

- Weblink to the course:

The Greek colleagues reported that they have successfully completed the pilot training for 24 healthcare professionals. The training delivered a significant increase in knowledge in accordance with the KAP pre and post-tests. Romania and Serbia informed that they both would conduct their pilot training towards the end of August.

Romania and Serbia also presented their national report since they could not attend the previous meeting in Malta due to the ongoing impact of Covid-19.

Discussions about the multiplier events and general project management aspects were discussed. It was highlighted that recruiting healthcare professionals to participate in the pilot training is challenging. The feedback is that they do not have the time due to the backlog of patients due to the impact of Covid-19. All present partners agreed that it is a challenging time for the healthcare sector across Europe at the moment.




Greek Pilot training 

On June 1, 2022, we recruited 20 midwives, one man-midwife and three midwives students as Health Care Professionals taking into account the difficulty of their availability due to their shifts. The attendees completed a KAP pre-test and a KAP post-test in order to assess the acquired knowledge through the educational material. The participants attended 4 hours of training, during which they asked questions and discussed at length how to apply it to mothers. They found it very handy and relevant in relation to mothers’ issues.  




The third project meeting took place in Valletta, Malta

On the 25th of February, the third project meeting took place at the University of Malta at their campus in Valletta. Unfortunately, not all partners could attend the meeting due to the ongoing impact of Covid-19. Even so, the meeting was fruitful, and one of the focuses was on how the partners now will initiate the pilot testing of the developed material over the next project period.  Another topic discussed by the partners was the survey of the mothers. In the current pandemic situation, and how hard it is to predict the outcome, the partners agreed that an online survey would be the best way forward. Therefore, the majority of the meeting time was occupied by designing the online survey that could be used in the partners' countries. By the end of the meeting, a final version of the survey was accomplished. 




The second physical meeting took place in
Kristianstad, Sweden 

After almost two years since the first physical meeting, the second meeting took place in Kristianstad (5th of November 2021). At the meeting, the impact of Covid-19 concerning the project was discussed in great detail.  The partners went over the delivered curriculum, which had been delivered previously via recorded lectures.  The partners thought that the recorded lectures were a good substitute in the current situation. Fruitful discussions took place on how to manage the ongoing project within the current timeline.  There were some concerns that it might be a challenge to facilitate the multiplier events due to the pilot testing of the developed curriculum will take place during spring 2022.  The summer is not a good time point to conduct multiplier events; people have limited availability to attend. All partners agreed that it is a severe challenge to complete a European project without regular physical meetings to progress with the outcomes. It is especially the informal conversation around the project that generates progress and new ideas.    





Zoom Meeting 

The partners conducted a Zoom meeting on the 21st of September 2020 with the focus upon discussing how the project can adapt to the current COVID-19 situation. The main focus of the meeting was how to ensure that the project can still include some interviews with mothers. The consortium discussed the possibility of digital storytelling as a potential solution. Another aspect discussed was how to deliver the developed training curriculum, the partnership engaged in a fruitful discussion about the possible element of using an online learning platform. Both ideas will be explored further, and it was agreed that the National Agency would be contacted for advice.



Martin Persson and Gareth Davies were invited as keynotes to the conference to discuss psychosocial aspects and patient perspectives.

Both informed about the various Erasmus+ projects, including Body Confident Mums, to the attending participants.



Kick-off meeting Sweden 

The kick-off meeting took place at Kristianstad University on the 16th of December 2019. The partners introduced themselves and their organisation in the morning. Martin and Zali gave presentations about the project together with some exercises. The consortium discussed aspects of the surveys for healthcare professionals and mothers with children (ages 0 - 5 years of age). Project management and financial aspects were also discussed in details.  





ECCE Conference Sweden 

BCM was presented at the EUROPEAN CLEFT AND CRANIOFACIAL INITIATIVE FOR EQUALITY IN CARE Conference at Kristianstad University, Sweden on the 13th of December.  The conference had 85 attendees from 25 countries.  Zali Yager, Triskelion gave a 20 minutes presentation about BCM, which was well received by the audience.