Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Grassroots Network: Australian home birth study

Dear Friends,

A new home birth study based on data from South Australia has just been published. Of course, an editorial on the topic in the same issue of the journal, penned by the President of the Australian Medical Association ("which is opposed to home birth in Australia") helped to "spin" the findings to show that home birth is much more dangerous than hospital birth, even though the actual data show no such thing.

You can read the whole article here: "Planned home and hospital births in South Australia, 1991-2006: differences in outcomes" (Robyn Kennare, Marc Keirse, Graeme Tucker and Annabelle Chan, MJA 192(2), 18 January 2009).

You can also find some great analysis of what the study actually tells us. If you are interested in reading research critically and understanding how data and results can be twisted (on purpose or by not thinking about what they mean), these analyses are worth your time:

"That Homebirth Study in South Australia"
by Lauredhel on January 16, 2010

More critique of the homebirth study and its reporting by the media"
January 20, 2010 – 7:58 pm, by Croakey

You can be sure that US medical organizations, especially ACOG, are well aware of this study, and the chances are we’ll see and hear references to it in the weeks and months ahead; we can be prepared!

Susan Hodges, “gatekeeper”

1 comment:

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