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Midwifery. 2000 Dec;16(4):252-9.

Incorporating cultural diversity in randomised controlled trials in midwifery.

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  • Midwifery Practice & Research Centre, James Laws House, St George Hospital, Kogarah, NSW 2217, Australia. homerc@sesahs.nsw.gov.au


The randomised controlled trial is currently the 'gold standard' that guides health-care practices. The implementation of new models of midwifery care often relies on results from randomised controlled trials. However, many randomised controlled trials exclude women who do not speak English or are designed in such a way that cultural diversity is not facilitated. This can mean that the sample is not representative of the population from which it was drawn or to which it will be applied. Culturally diverse representation can be achieved through a number of strategies. These include utilising health-care interpreters, ensuring materials are translated into common community languages and engaging the local community. These strategies can be used to ensure that the sample in a randomised controlled trial is culturally and linguistically diverse, and representative of the community. We have conducted a randomised controlled trial of a community-based model of midwifery providing continuity of care in a culturally diverse population. A number of issues in the conduct of a trial within a culturally diverse society are discussed in this paper. The trial will be used to illustrate some of the strategies used to ensure that the sample represented the population from which it was drawn.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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