This directory page includes resources that provide overviews and highlight key issues for evidence-based health care generally and maternal and newborn care in particular. Below you will also find characterizations of evidence-practice and evidence-guidelines gaps, as well as resources about the related vexing question of considerable practice variation that does not reflect needs and preferences of those who receive care.
"Online source" indicates that the resource is available online without charge. A cost-free registration may be required for access to some items with this designation.
Evidence-based health care generally
Evidence-based maternal and newborn care
Evidence-practice gaps and evidence-guidelines gaps in maternity care
Practice variation can signal evidence-practice gaps and uncertainty
Key web resources
Dawes M, Davies P, Gray A, Mant J, Seers K, Snowball R. Evidence-based practice: a primer for health care professionals, 2nd ed. Edinburgh: Churchill Livingstone, 2005
Dawes M, Summerskill W, Glasziou P, Cartabellotta A, Martin J, Hopayian K, Porzsolt F, Burls A, Osborne J, for the Second International Conference of Evidence-Based Health Care Teachers and Developers. Sicily Statement on evidence-based practice. BMC Med Educ. 2005;5(1):1.
DiCenso A, Guyatt G, Ciliska D. Evidence-based nursing: a guide to clinical practice. St. Louis: Elsevier Mosby, 2004.
Edwards A, Elwyn G, eds. Shared decision-making in health care: achieving evidence-based patient choice, 2nd ed. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2009.
King JF. A short history of evidence-based obstetric care. Best Pract Res Clin Obstet Gynaecol. 2005;19(1):3-14.
Muir Gray JA. Evidence-based healthcare and public health: how to make decisions about health policy and public health, 3rd ed. Edinburgh: Churchill Livingstone, 2008.
Peterson, ed. Evidence: its meaning in health care and in law [special issue]. J Health Policy Politics Law. 2001;26(2):191-446.
Straus, SE, Richardson WS, Glasziou P, Haynes RB. Evidence-based medicine, 3rd ed. Edinburgh: Churchill Livingstone, 2005.
Woolf SH, Chan ECY, Harris R, Sheridan SL, Braddock CH, Kaplan RM, Krist A, O'Connor AM, Tunis S. Promoting informed choice: transforming health care to dispense knowledge for decision making. Ann Int Med. 2005;143(4):293-300.
Enkin M, Keirse MJNC, Neilson J, Crowther C, Duley L, Hodnett E, Hofmeyr J. A guide to effective care in pregnancy and childbirth, 3rd ed. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2000.
Fullerton JT, Thompson JB. Examining the evidence for the International Confederation of Midwives' essential competencies for midwifery practice. Midwifery. 2004;21(1):2-13.
Halpern SH, Douglass MJ, eds. Evidence-based obstetric anesthesia. Malden, MA: Blackwell Publishing, 2005.
Lydon-Rochelle MT, Hodnett E, Renfrew MJ, Lumley J. A systematic approach for midwifery students: how to consider evidence-based research findings. J Midwifery Womens Health. 2003;48(4):273-7.
Kalin A, Manzo E, Stolbrink M, Kennedy S, Kirtley S, Hogg S. 2010 Annual Evidence Update on Antenatal and Pregnancy Care. UK: National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE); NHS Evidence-women's health specialist collection, September 2010. [webpage and pdf]
NICHD Cochrane Neonatal Home Page, National Institutes of Health [web pages].
(Online Source, with full text of all systematic reviews prepared by Cochrane Neonatal Group)
Proctor S, Renfrew M. Linking research and practice in midwifery: a guide to evidence-based practice. Edinburgh: Ballière Tindall, 2000.
Ratcliffe SD, Baxley EG, Cline MK, Sakornbut EL. Family medicine obstetrics, 3rd ed. St. Louis, MO: Elsevier Mosby, 2008.
Sakala C, Corry MP. What is evidence-based health care? J Midwifery Womens Health. 2001;46(3):127-28.
Sakala C, Corry MP. Evidence-based maternity care: what it is and what it can achieve. New York: Milbank Memorial Fund, 2008.
Simpson KR, Knox GE. Strategies for developing an evidence-based approach to perinatal care. MCN Am J Matern Child Nurs. 1999;24(3):122-31.
Walsh D. Evidence-based care for normal labour and birth: a guide for midwives. New York, NY: Routledge, 2007.
World Health Organization. WHO Reproductive Health Library [web pages and CD-ROM].
Fisk NM, Atun, R. Market failure and the poverty of new drugs in maternal health. PLoS Med. 2008;5(1):e22.
Fisk NM, Atun R. (2009). Systematic analysis of research underfunding in maternal and perinatal health. BJOG. 2009;116(3):347-356.
(Online Source, PDF)
Henderson-Smart DJ, Osborn D, Evans N, Beeby P, Jeffery H. Do we practice evidence-based care in our neonatal intensive care units? Clin Perinatol. 2003;30(2):333-42.
Horbor JD, Carpenter JH, Buzas J, Soll RF, Suresh G, Bracken MB, Leviton LC, Plsek PE, Sinclair JC, for members of the Vermont Oxford Network. Timing of initial surfactant treatment for infants 23 to 29 weeks gestation: is routine practice evidence-based? Pediatrics. 2004;113(6):1593-1602.
Hunt JM, Lumley J. Are recommendations about routine antenatal care in Australia consistent and evidence-based? Med J Aust. 2002;176(6):255-9.
Parer JT. Obstetric technologies: what determines clinical acceptance or rejection of results of randomized controlled trials? Am J Obstet Gynecol. 2003;188(6):1622-5.
Qian X, Smith H, Zhou L, Liang J, Garner P. Evidence-based obstetrics in four hospitals in China: an observational study to explore clinical practice, women's preferences and provider's views. BMC Pregnancy Childbirth. 2001;1:1.
Richens Y. Are midwives using research evidence in practice? Br J Midwifery. 2002;10(1):11-16.
Clark SL, Belfort MA, Hankins GD, Meyers JA, Houser FM. Variation in the rates of operative delivery in the United States. Am J Obstet Gynecol. 2007;196(6):536.e1-5.
Denk CE. Cesarean delivery: comparing New Jersey hospitals. [Trenton]: Maternal and Child Health Epidemiology Program, New Jersey Department of Health and Senior Services, 2010.
(Online Source, PDF)
Glantz JC. Labor induction rate variation in upstate New York: what is the difference? Birth. 2003;30(3):168-74.
Glantz JC, Guzick. DS. Can differences in labor induction rates be explained by case mix? J Reprod Med. 2004;49(3):175-81.
Iglehart JK, ed. Variations revisited [special online supplement]. Health Aff. 2004:VAR1-144.
Knox GE, Simpson KR. Perinatal high reliability. Am J Obstet Gynecol. 2010 Dec 30. [Epub ahead of print]
Public Advocate for the City of New York. A Mother's Right to Know: New York City Hospitals Fail to Provide Legally Mandated Maternity Information. New York: Office of Betsy Gotbaum, Public Advocate, 2005
(Online Source, PDF)
Public Advocate for the City of New York. Giving Birth In the Dark: City Hospitals Still Failing to Provide Legally Mandated Maternity Information. New York: Office of Betsy Gotbaum, Public Advocate, 2006
(Online Source, PDF)
Rogowski JA, Staiger DO, Horbar JD. Variations in the quality of care for very-low-birthweight infants: implications for policy. Health Aff. 2004;23(5):88-97.
Centre for Evidence-Based Medicine, Toronto General Hospital
Centre for Evidence Based Medicine, University of Oxford.
Centre for Reviews and Dissemination, University of York.
Evidence-based health care resources, United States Cochrane Center.
Evidence-based Medicine, Johns Hopkins University.
Evidence-informed public health, National Collaborating Centre for Methods and Tools.
Introduction to evidence-informed decision making, National Collaborating Centre for Methods and Tools.
Resources for evidence-based medicine, Society for Academic Continuing Medical Education.
The section on evidence based health care, New York Academy of Medicine.
Understanding evidence-based healthcare: a foundation for action, U.S. Cochrane Center.
Note: many web pages in some of these sites have not been recently updated.
Most recent page update: 4/5/2012
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