Rachel Moon, MD, Awarded $3.5 Million Grant for Study Implementing ‘Get Smart’ Strategies to Decrease Sudden and Unexpected Infant Deaths

October 10, 2023 by

Rachel Moon

Rachel Moon, MD

Rachel Moon, MD, the Harrison Distinguished Teaching Professor in the Department of Pediatrics, was awarded a NIH R01 grant, “Get Social Media and Risk-Reduction Training (GET SMART),” for $3.5 million over five years. Other principal investigators are Margaret Parker, MD, from University of Massachusetts and Eve Colson, MD, from Washington University. Fern Hauck MD, MS, in the UVA School of Medicine Department of Family Medicine and Ann Kellams, MD, from the UVA School of Medicine’s Department of Pediatrics are co-investigators on this award.

The ultimate goal of this grant is to decrease the rate of Sudden and Unexpected Infant Deaths (SUID), which include Sudden Infant Death Syndrome and unintentional injury-related infant deaths. Currently, about 3,400 U.S. infants die suddenly and unexpectedly every year, and many of these deaths are preventable with greater adherence to safe infant sleep guidelines. There are also racial and socioeconomic disparities in adherence to these guidelines and in SUID rates. This research team conducted the successful Social Media and Risk-Reduction Training for Infant Care Practices (SMART) study in which 1,600 mothers at 16 U.S. birth hospitals were randomized to receive short educational videos, delivered by email or text message, focused on safe sleep vs. control, in the first two months after birth. Compared to mothers receiving attention-matched control messages, those receiving the safe sleep intervention had approximately 10 percentage point higher rates of following safe sleep practices. Importantly, racial and socioeconomic disparities in safe sleep practices were eliminated among the study population.

GET SMART (Get Social Media and Risk-Reduction Training) is designed as a type 3 hybrid implementation-effectiveness cluster randomized trial of 20 hospitals to determine optimal strategies to implement the SMART safe sleep intervention in real-world conditions. Given the disparities in SUID and safe sleep practices, GET SMART will occur in hospitals serving predominantly low-income populations in counties with greater than 1.5 times the national SUID rate. Outcome measures will include penetration (what proportion of eligible parents sign up for the program), equity of penetration (are we reaching parents who, because of their socioeconomic or racial/ethnic status, are less likely to receive education about safe sleep), effectiveness (can we continue to achieve higher rates of adherence to safe sleep practices) and program cost. It is hoped that this project will provide the data needed for an easily replicated mobile-delivered video safe sleep intervention that could be broadly scalable among groups with historically high rates of SUID.


Filed Under: Faculty, Research