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J Perinat Educ. 2002 Summer;11(3):10-9.

Childbirth education outcomes: an integrative review of the literature.

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M ary K oehn is a doctoral candidate at the University of Kansas Medical Center in Kansas City, Kansas. She is also an assistant professor at Wichita State University in Wichita, Kansas.


The purpose of this literature review was to identify and describe recent empirical studies of childbirth education outcomes and to identify areas for further study. The search produced 63 studies; only 12 met the inclusion criteria. The literature demonstrated inconclusive evidence regarding the effectiveness of childbirth education. None of the studies used a theoretical framework that proposed multiple factors, as opposed to childbirth education alone, that impact the outcomes. Health-focused versus illness-focused outcomes were also addressed.

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