Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: https://doi.org/10.21256/zhaw-4277
Title: Diagnosing onset of labor : a systematic review of definitions in the research literature
Authors : Hanley, Gillian E.
Munro, Sarah
Greyson, Devon
Gross, Mechthild Maria
Hundley, Vanora
Spiby, Helen
Janssen, Patricia A.
Published in : BMC Pregnancy and Childbirth
Volume(Issue) : 16
Issue : 71
Pages : 1
Pages to: 11
Publisher / Ed. Institution : BioMed Central
Issue Date: Apr-2016
License (according to publishing contract) : CC BY 4.0: Namensnennung 4.0 International
Type of review: Open peer review
Language : English
Subjects : Female; Humans; First labor stage; Pregnancy; Labor onset
Subject (DDC) : 618.4: Childbirth
Abstract: Background The diagnosis of labor onset has been described as one of the most important judgments in maternity care. There is compelling evidence that the duration of both latent and active phase labor are clinically important and require consistent approaches to measurement. In order to measure the duration of labor phases systematically, we need standard definitions of their onset. We reviewed the literature to examine definitions of labor onset and the evidentiary basis provided for these definitions. Methods Five electronic databases were searched using predefined search terms. We included English, French and German language studies published between January 1978 and March 2014 defining the onset of latent labor and/or active labor in a population of healthy women with term births. Studies focusing exclusively on induced labor were excluded. Results We included 62 studies. Four ‘types’ of labor onset were defined: latent phase, active phase, first stage and unspecified. Labor onset was most commonly defined through the presence of regular painful contractions (71 % of studies) and/or some measure of cervical dilatation (68 % of studies). However, there was considerable discrepancy about what constituted onset of labor even within ‘type’ of labor onset. The majority of studies did not provide evidentiary support for their choice of definition of labor onset. Conclusions There is little consensus regarding definitions of labor onset in the research literature. In order to avoid misdiagnosis of the onset of labor and identify departures from normal labor trajectories, a consistent and measurable definition of labor onset for each phase and stage is essential. In choosing standard definitions, the consequences of their use on rates of maternal and fetal morbidity must also be examined.
Departement: Gesundheit
Organisational Unit: Institute of Midwifery (IHB)
Publication type: Article in scientific Journal
DOI : 10.1186/s12884-016-0857-4
10.21256/zhaw-4277
ISSN: 1471-2393
URI: https://digitalcollection.zhaw.ch/handle/11475/8091
Appears in Collections:Publikationen Gesundheit

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