2013 Participants
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NAME: Lindsey Harper

PROJECT TITLE: Birth Practices Meta-Analysis

Maternal mortality is distressingly high in the United States, which has rates of induced labor and cesarean delivery well above those recommended by the World Health Organization. Simultaneously, planned home birth appears to be a growing trend in the United States.  A recently-published meta-analysis called into question the relative safety of home birth, indicating that although planned home birth resulted in fewer medical interventions compared to planned hospital births and similar rates of perinatal mortality compared with hospital births, it was associated with rates of neonatal mortality rates three times that of planned hospital births. However, methodological decisions made by the researchers call into question their conclusions. A re-evaluation of the meta-analysis involves reviewing study inclusion criteria for previously-included studies and considering possible additional studies, while taking into account the study quality for neonatal death issues and attending to the mathematical problems associated with low rates of occurrence. Studies will have to be recoded for quality issues to ensure that neonatal mortality was properly attributed to non-anomalous causes. It will also involve a more detailed examination of the positive maternal outcomes associated with home birth, which were all but overlooked by the published analysis. The planned analysis may result in an additional examination of birth outcomes, depending on the findings and availability of studies.

To view Lindsey's website click here