A short history of evidence-based obstetric care

Best Pract Res Clin Obstet Gynaecol. 2005 Feb;19(1):3-14. doi: 10.1016/j.bpobgyn.2004.09.003. Epub 2004 Dec 13.


Evidence-based obstetric care is a relatively new concept, which had its origins in the early 1970s when Iain Chalmers and his colleagues in Oxford responded to the statement of Archie Cochrane that much of the evidence underpinning obstetric (and other) practices was flawed. They recognized the importance of the quality of evidence in informing clinical decision making, particularly evidence from randomized trials. This was a shift away from opinion-based obstetrics, which up until then had been the dominant paradigm. Since then, there has been an exponential increase in the number and quality of clinical trials in obstetrics, and with their dissemination through the Cochrane database of systematic reviews, there have been many improvements in obstetric practice, more closely aligning it with sound evidence.

Publication types

  • Historical Article

MeSH terms

  • Evidence-Based Medicine / history*
  • Female
  • History, 20th Century
  • History, 21st Century
  • Humans
  • Obstetrics / history*
  • Pregnancy