Khresheh, R. & Homer, C ( 2009). A comparison of labour and birth outcomes in Jordan with WHO guidelines: a descriptive study using a new birth record., Midwifery,  25, e11-e18

 Aim: to examine data collected during the testing of a new birth record in Jordan from 1 July to 31 August 2004, and to compare these practices with guidelines from the World Health Organization (WHO) and evidence-based recommendations. This was part of a larger study that used an action research approach to engage practitioners in implementation of the new record.

Design: descriptive, comparative design.

Setting: three Ministry of Health hospitals in Jordan.

Participants: the birth records of 1254 mothers and babies were used.

Measurements: data on selected labour and birth practices were collected from the records. Comparisons were made using recognised evidence-based guidelines.

Findings: the rates of a number of labour and birth practices were inappropriately high, and differed from WHO guidelines and evidence-based recommendations. The rates of augmentation of labour (46%) and episiotomy (53%) were particularly high, and seem to be in excess of the WHO recommendations, which state that neither of these practices should be undertaken routinely.

Implications for practice: information on labour and birth practices can assist clinicians working in these three hospitals to reflect upon their care and outcomes. Clinicians may be able to use this information to change practice to improve care for women and babies. Organisational support and clinical leadership are necessary in order to provide health professionals with time and resources to access research data and undertake comparisons that can lead to health service and system-level improvement.