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Evidence-based care and childbearing - A critical approach

Journal article
Authors Marie Berg
Terese Bondas
Berit Støre Brinchmann
Ingela Lundgren
O A Ólafsdóttir
Katri Vehviläinen-Julkunen
Elisabeth Hall
Published in International Journal of Qualitative Studies on Health and Well-being
Issue 3
Pages 239-247
ISSN 1748-2623
Publication year 2008
Published at Institute of Health and Care Sciences
Pages 239-247
Language en
Keywords Evidence-based care, evidence-based medicine, childbearing, Nordic countries, lifeworld research
Subject categories Nursing


Developing the best care for clients and patients is a paramount aim of all health care practices, which therefore, should be based on best evidence. This is also crucial for care during the childbearing period here defined as pregnancy, childbirth, and infancy. However, due to dominance of the evidence-based medicine (EBM) model, health care practice has encountered problems especially regarding its relationship to qualitative research. In this article, we analyze and discuss how research based on a lifeworld perspective fits with evidence-based care (EBC), and how a circular model instead of a hierarchy is suitable when attributing value to knowledge for EBC. The article focuses on the history of EBM and EBC, the power of the evidence concept, and EBC from a narrow to a broad view. Further qualitative research and its use for developing EBC is discussed and examples are presented from the authors’ own lifeworld research in the Nordic childbearing context. Finally, an alternative circular model of knowledge for EBC is presented. In order to develop evidence-based care, there is need for multiple types of scientific knowledge with equal strength of evidence, integrated with clinical experience, setting, circumstances and health care resources, and incorporating the experiences and clinical state of the childbearing woman and her family.

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