Antenatal and intrapartum interventions for reducing caesarean section, promoting vaginal birth, and reducing fear of childbirth: An overview of systematic reviews

Autoři: Valerie Smith aff001;  Louise Gallagher aff001;  Margaret Carroll aff001;  Kathleen Hannon aff001;  Cecily Begley aff001
Působiště autorů: School of Nursing & Midwifery, Trinity College Dublin, Dublin, Ireland aff001
Vyšlo v časopise: PLoS ONE 14(10)
Kategorie: Research Article


Concern has been expressed globally over rising caesarean birth rates. Recently, the International Federation of Gynaecology and Obstetrics (FIGO) called for help from governmental bodies, professional organisations, women’s groups, and other stakeholders to reduce unnecessary caesareans. As part of a wider research initiative, we conducted an overview of systematic reviews of antenatal and intrapartum interventions, and reports of evidence based recommendations, to identify and highlight those that have been shown to be effective for reducing caesarean birth, promoting vaginal birth and reducing fear of childbirth. Following registration of the review protocol, (PROSPERO 2018 CRD42018090681), we searched The Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews, PubMed, CINAHL and EMBASE (Jan 2000-Jan 2018) and searched for grey literature in PROSPERO, and on websites of health professional and other relevant bodies. Screening and selection of reviews, quality appraisal using AMSTAR-2, and data extraction were performed independently by pairs of at least two reviewers. Excluding reviews assessed as ‘critically low’ on AMSTAR-2 (n = 54), 101 systematic reviews, and 10 reports of evidence based recommendations were included in the overview. Narrative synthesis was performed, due to heterogeneity of review methodology and topics. The results highlight twenty-five interventions, across 17 reviews, that reduced the risk of caesarean, nine interventions across eight reviews that increased the risk of caesarean, eight interventions that reduced instrumental vaginal birth, four interventions that increased spontaneous vaginal birth, and two interventions that reduced fear of childbirth. This overview of reviews identifies and highlights interventions that have been shown to be effective for reducing caesarean birth, promoting vaginal births and reducing fear of childbirth. In recognising that clinical practices change over time, this overview includes reviews published from 2000 onwards only, thus providing contemporary evidence, and a valuable resource for clinicians when making decisions on practices that should be implemented for reducing unnecessary caesarean births safely.

Protocol Registration: PROSPERO 2018 CRD42018090681. Available from:

Klíčová slova:

Antenatal care – Birth – Database searching – Fear – Labor and delivery – Pain management – Pregnancy – Systematic reviews


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2019 Číslo 10
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