A Review of Research Literature and Federal Involvement Relating to Selected Obstetric Practices

HRD-79-85A: Published: Sep 24, 1979. Publicly Released: Sep 24, 1979.

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A review was made of research literature relating to the benefits and risks of the following obstetric practices: induction of labor, medications used to relieve labor pain, instrument delivery, electronic fetal monitoring, and Caesarean section.

In general, the research literature was inconclusive about the benefits versus the risks of the obstetric practices selected for review. Research studies generally lacked adequate control groups, involved relatively few patients, failed to assess long-term effects, or involved some other shortcoming which limited their usefulness in this area.

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