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Am J Obstet Gynecol. 1999 May;180(5):1054-9.

A comparison of intermittent and continuous support during labor: a meta-analysis.

Author information

1
Alcohol Research Group, Institute for Health Policy Studies, Department of Pediatrics, University of California, San Francisco, USA.

Abstract

Our goal was to contrast the influence of intermittent and continuous support provided by doulas during labor and delivery on 5 childbirth outcomes. Data were aggregated across 11 clinical trials by means of meta-analytic techniques. Continuous support, when compared with no doula support, was significantly associated with shorter labors (weighted mean difference -1.64 hours, 95% confidence interval -2.3 to -.96) and decreased need for the use of any analgesia (odds ratio.64, 95% confidence interval.49 to.85), oxytocin (odds ratio.29, 95% confidence interval.20 to.40), forceps (odds ratio.43, 95% confidence interval.28 to.65), and cesarean sections (odds ratio.49, 95% confidence interval.37 to.65). Intermittent support was not significantly associated with any of the outcomes. Odds ratios differed between the 2 groups of studies for each outcome. Continuous support appears to have a greater beneficial impact on the 5 outcomes than intermittent support. Future clinical trials, however, will need to control for possible confounding influences. Implications for labor management are discussed.

PMID:
10329855
DOI:
10.1016/s0002-9378(99)70594-6
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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