Clinical guidelines for postpartum women and infants in primary care–a systematic review

Haran, Crishan, van Driel, Mieke, Mitchell, Benjamin L. and Brodribb, Wendy E. (2014) Clinical guidelines for postpartum women and infants in primary care–a systematic review. BMC Pregnancy and Childbirth, 14 1: 51.1-51.9. doi:10.1186/1471-2393-14-51

Author Haran, Crishan
van Driel, Mieke
Mitchell, Benjamin L.
Brodribb, Wendy E.
Title Clinical guidelines for postpartum women and infants in primary care–a systematic review
Journal name BMC Pregnancy and Childbirth   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 1471-2393
Publication date 2014
Year available 2014
Sub-type Article (original research)
DOI 10.1186/1471-2393-14-51
Open Access Status DOI
Volume 14
Issue 1
Start page 51.1
End page 51.9
Total pages 9
Place of publication London, United Kingdom
Publisher BioMed Central
Collection year 2015
Language eng
Formatted abstract
Background: While many women and infants have an uneventful course during the postpartum period, others experience significant morbidity. Effective postpartum care in the community can prevent short, medium and long-term consequences of unrecognised and poorly managed problems. The use of rigorously developed, evidence-based guidelines has the potential to improve patient care, impact on policy and ensure consistency of care across health sectors. This study aims to compare the scope and content, and assess the quality of clinical guidelines about routine postpartum care in primary care.

Methods: PubMed, the National Guideline Clearing House, Google, Google Scholar and relevant college websites were searched for relevant guidelines. All guidelines regarding routine postpartum care published in English between 2002 and 2012 were considered and screened using explicit selection criteria. The scope and recommendations contained in the guidelines were compared and the quality of the guidelines was independently assessed by two authors using the AGREE II instrument.

Results: Six guidelines from Australia (2), the United Kingdom (UK) (3) and the United States of America (USA) (1), were included. The scope of the guidelines varied greatly. However, guideline recommendations were generally consistent except for the use of the Edinburgh Postnatal Depression Scale for mood disorder screening and the suggested time of routine visits. Some recommendations lacked evidence to support them, and levels or grades of evidence varied between guidelines. The quality of most guidelines was adequate. Of the six AGREE II domains, applicability and editorial independence scored the lowest, and scope, purpose and clarity of presentation scored the highest.

Conclusions: Only one guideline provided comprehensive recommendations for the care of postpartum women and their infants. As well as considering the need for region specific guidelines, further research is needed to strengthen the evidence supporting recommendations made within guidelines. Further improvement in the editorial independence and applicability domains of the AGREE ll criteria would strengthen the quality of the guidelines.

Keyword Postpartum care
Glinical guidelines
Maternal health
Infant health
Q-Index Code C1
Q-Index Status Confirmed Code
Institutional Status UQ

Document type: Journal Article
Sub-type: Article (original research)
Collections: Discipline of General Practice Publications
Official 2015 Collection
School of Medicine Publications
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Citation counts: TR Web of Science Citation Count  Cited 5 times in Thomson Reuters Web of Science Article | Citations
Scopus Citation Count Cited 8 times in Scopus Article | Citations
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Created: Fri, 31 Jan 2014, 10:04:16 EST by Shani Lamb on behalf of Discipline of General Practice