Improving Perinatal Care in Latin America

2014-08-27 03:54:52 | BioPortfolio


Many obstetrical interventions used in Latin America, as in other parts of the world, have been shown to be ineffective or harmful, while effective interventions remain underutilized. This study will develop and evaluate an intervention intended to implement two evidence-based practices among birth attendants in Latin America, the selective use of episiotomies and active management of the third stage of labor.


In Latin American countries certain procedures commonly used in obstetrical care (e.g. episiotomy) have been shown to be ineffective or harmful. This study hypothesizes that obstetrical procedures can be changed and new guidelines implemented via peer opinion leader training. It tests an intervention designed to motivate and facilitate health care professionals’ development through the implementation and maintenance of simple evidence-based guidelines to increase the use of evidence-based practices by birth attendants at the hospital level in Argentina and Uruguay. The primary outcomes are the use of episiotomies and of oxytocin during the third stage of labor; secondary outcomes include perineal sutures; postpartum hemorrhages; birth attendants’ readiness to change status. The sample size was based upon a 10% frequency of oxytocin use and 20% use of episiotomies in the control group. The study hypothesizes a 40% absolute increase in oxytocin use in the intervention group; a 20% absolute reduction in use of episiotomies in the intervention group, calculated at a 0.05 significance level with 80% power.

Following baseline data collections in 24 hospitals, 19 hospitals met inclusion criteria in three urban districts of Argentina and Uruguay and were randomly assigned to an intervention or control group. Baseline data collection has been completed with a total of 6597 single vaginal spontaneous births. The 19 hospitals met inclusion criteria with a rate of active management of third stage of labor under 25% and an episiotomy rate in spontaneous vaginal deliveries above 20%. Opinion leaders in the intervention hospitals have been identified and trained to develop evidence-based guidelines that will be diffused by a multifaceted approach including seminars, academic detailing, reminders, and feedback on utilization rates. The hospitals in the nonintervention group will continue with their standard in-service training activities.

Study Design

Allocation: Randomized, Control: Active Control, Endpoint Classification: Efficacy Study, Intervention Model: Parallel Assignment, Masking: Open Label




Opinion Leaders, Academic Detailing, Reminders, and Feedback


Hospital de Clinicas




Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD)

Results (where available)

View Results


Published on BioPortfolio: 2014-08-27T03:54:52-0400

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