Weighing the Evidence
Weighing of evidence and interpreting the implications of data, statistics, and analyses are the ultimate stages when conducting new research. It provides the researcher with a conclusive end to the research process where all the research methods and designs can be synthesized into a significant deduction (Bernd, et al, 2009).
I have selected Cluett’s study “Immersion in water during labor and birth.” The study reveals about the rationale of using water immersion as an aid in reducing labor pains during labor. The study also highlights disadvantages of water immersion during labor (Cluett, 2009). Cluett’s study assesses the information from randomized monitored trials concerning immersion in water in the time of labor and water birth on caregiver, neonatal, fetal and maternal outcomes.
The findings that the article presents include a significant decline in the spinal/epidural analgesia rate among women assigned to the immersion in water likened to controls. There were no variances in AVDs (assisted vaginal delivery), caesarean sections, maternal contamination or perinatal trauma. There was no variation for the Apgar score fewer than seven at five minutes, admissions to newborn unit, or the rates of neonatal infection.
The researcher uses deductive reasoning to establish the conclusion of the study. He uses the findings from the results observed to draw the conclusion that to immerse in water during the 1st stage of labor cuts the need for spinal/epidural analgesia usage.
The researcher draws his explanation to support the conclusion from the findings. They indicate that water immersion during pregnancy reduces labor pains. This results in the less usage of epidural/spinal analgesia. Expectant mothers used water during labor in the study experience to relax and reduce labor pains, which decreased their requirements for analgesia (Cluett, 2009). The lack of the information for comparisons between the different methods of delivery prevents the development of a robust conclusion. This is the main weakness in the analysis of the study. There should have been comparisons between different methods of delivery to assess the suitability and demerits of each method in order to make a sound conclusion. The author also fails to link the conclusion to the main findings through the use of summary of some findings to offers illustrations of conclusion statements. This leaves the conclusion seemingly detached from the study findings (Stichler, 2010).
An alternate interpretation of the data could be that water immersion during the first and second stages of labor has no fetal effects. The study did not have significant variances from the 5 trials reported on APGAR scores at five minutes. There were no significant differences in the incidence of a score of less than seven at five minutes between groups. There were two neonatal intensive care unit admissions. These admissions had no significant variance with admission rates for other conventional methods of delivery (Cluett, 2009).
The possible alternate conclusions that the researcher could have drawn based on the data is that water immersion at the 1st and 2nd stages of labor is a cost-effective alternative for delivery and does not have side effects for the maternal, fetal, neonatal and caregiver outcomes (Northouse, et al, 2011).
The findings of the study have addressed the researcher’s initial question of examining the information from randomized controlled trials about the water immersion during labor and water birth on maternal, fetal, neonatal and caregiver outcomes well. Through the randomized trials, the study addresses its question and the findings are consistent with the hypothesis identified. In addition, the conclusion of the study provides an interpretation of the results to address the main research question (Dingle, 2011).
The additional research that would be carried out to build on these findings and gain a complete understanding of the question is finding out evidence for other findings associated to use of water during the first and second phases of labor, due to outcome and intervention variability. The fact that a water immersion practice in labor and birth is currently a broadly obtainable care alternative for women, impends the viability of a large, multicenter randomized organized trial. There is a need to conduct further research on the subject to provide reliable information for health practitioners (Polit, et al, 2012).
In conclusion, weighing the evidence is the last research process that offers researchers the opportunity to frame explanations for what their data reveals. It offers researchers the aptitude to find out whether the data answers their initial research question. In addition, weighing evidence identifies areas of ambiguity in order to offer recommendations for further research.
Cluett, E. (2009). Immersion in water in labor and birth. Cochrane Database of Systematic Review, 1002/14651858.
Dingle, P. (2011). Statin statistics: Lies and deception. Positive health, (180), 1.
Northouse, M. C., & Katapodi, M. C. (2011). Comparative Effectiveness Research: Using Systematic Reviews and Meta-analyses to Synthesize empirical evidence. Research and Theory for Nursing Practise25(3), 191-209.
Polit, D. F., & Beck, F. P. (2012). Nursing research: Generating and assessing evidence of nursing practise. Philadelphia, P.A.: Laureate Education Inc. custom ed.
Bernd, R., Prel, J.B., and Blettner, M.(2009). Study design in medical research: Part 2 of a series on the evaluation of scientific publications. Deutsches Aerzteblatt International106(11), 184-189.
Stichler, J. F. (2010). Evaluating the evidence in evidence based design. Journal of Nursing Adminstration40(9), 348-351.