Striae gravidarum, Stretch marks, Protocol, Pilot trial, Randomised controlled tria
Background:Striae gravidarum (stretch marks) are considered the most common connective tissue/skin change in pregnancy. Though not a health issue they can affect women in different ways, for example, cause stress or be an aesthetic or cosmetic concern. Many women use one or more of the commercially available products to try and prevent their development during pregnancy despite the fact that that there is a lack of high-quality evidence to support their use. There is a dearth of studies on the prevention of striae gravidarum and large, robust trials are lacking. Until such time as more products are investigated, much of the knowledge remains anecdotal. This pilot study will evaluate the feasibility of conducting a study to evaluate the effectiveness of a commercially available moisturising oil compared to no treatment for the prevention and reduction in severity of striae gravidarum.Methods:The definitive study will be a randomised controlled trial to evaluate the effectiveness of a moisturising oil(commercially available moisturising oil) compared to no treatment for the prevention and reduction in severity of striae gravidarum. This protocol is for a pilot randomised trial to evaluate the feasibility of conducting such a study. The pilot study will be a two-arm, unblinded, pragmatic parallel randomised trial with a 1:1 randomisation ratio between control and intervention groups. Women in the intervention group will be asked to apply a moisturising oil to their abdomen during pregnancy, while women in the control group will not use any treatment. It is proposed to recruit 20 primigravida, who are 12–16 weeks pregnant from an Irish Maternity Hospital, in each arm to assess the feasibility of running such a trial.Discussion:This pilot trial will evaluate the feasibility of conducting the main study to evaluate the effectiveness of a moisturising oil (commercially available moisturising oil) compared to no treatment for the prevention and reduction in severity of striae gravidarum. It will potentially initiate the generation of high-quality evidence to guide women in their choice of anti-stretch mark product.Trial registration:ISRCTN Registry,ISRCTN76992326. Registered on 14 July 2017.