The Nature and Management of Labor Pain
Why The Nature and Management of Labor Pain was carried out
How the labor pain systematic and narrative reviews were carried out
Ongoing work to use review results to educate professionals, women and the media and to improve practice
Steering Committee of national leaders with expertise in anesthesiology, bioethics, childbirth education, consumer advocacy, epidemiology, journalism, labor support, midwifery, neonatology, nursing, obstetrics, pediatrics, physical therapy, and public health.
The Steering Committee issued a statement of Values, Principles and Objectives to make these matters transparent (see box above).
The Committee developed the scope of work for a series of planned reviews on specific methods for labor pain relief and related topics to help ensure that all important questions would be addressed and to limit duplication. The Committee specified that, where possible, the commissioned papers would use systematic review methodology. A subcommittee developed guidelines for authors (PDF) on systematic review methodology, and the Steering Committee invited leading researchers with topical expertise to prepare papers according to explicit scopes of work and the project guidelines. The full Committee met as an editorial board to review drafts of the papers and support authors in revising and strengthening the papers.
Maternity Center Association established a partnership with the New York Academy of Medicine to hold a meeting to present and discuss the commissioned papers. The Nature and Management of Labor Pain: An Evidence-based Symposium was held at the Academy in May 2001. About 130 participants gathered to hear the papers, to hear commentary from two panels, and to discuss the issues at length. To ensure a balance of participants across all professions and organizations involved with labor, attendance was by invitation only.
Following the meeting, authors finalized their papers and submitted them for publication. The peer-reviewed papers were published in a supplement to American Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology (see box above). The issue includes an Executive Summary from the Steering Committee, which describes this work and the main results in detail and is available without charge on this site (see box above).
Systematic reviews were carried out and published on the following topics (with lead authors in parentheses):
Narrative reviews were carried out and published on the following topics (with lead authors in parentheses):
Ongoing work to use review results to educate professionals, women and the media and to improve practiceThis carefully coordinated evidence-based process clarified the state of the science for many related clinical questions, and Childbirth Connection and many others have been using results of the papers to strengthen policy, practice, research, and both professional and consumer education. Childbirth Connection has carried out media outreach to make key labor pain research results accessible to childbearing families and the general public.
The papers have been widely cited, and results are being incorporated into health professional education programs. A number of derivative reports have been prepared, including two companion papers, an editorial and a consumer handout in American Family Physician
Childbirth Connection's Listening to Mothers® surveys have further explored important labor pain questions from the perspective of mothers themselves, and are continuing to fill in gaps in knowledge in this area. For example, the surveys include data on rates of use of a wide range of pharmacologic and nonpharmacologic measures, ratings of the measures used, and knowledge about effects of epidural analgesia. Listening to Mothers II results, which will be reported in fall 2006, will enable a charting of pain relief trends and will provide data on additional pain relief topics.
Related links, below, provide access to Childbirth Connection's in-depth labor pain resources developed from the systematic reviews and related labor pain work for consumers and journalists.
Most recent page update: 9/11/2012
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Founded in 1918, Childbirth Connection has joined forces with and become a core program of the National Partnership for Women & Families. Together, these two women's health powerhouses are transforming maternity care in the United States.
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