Evidence-based care and childbearing - A critical approach

Marie Berg*, Terese Bondas, Berit Støre Brinchmann, Ingela Lundgren, Ólöf Ásta Ólafsdóttir, Katri Vehvilainen-Julkunen, Elisabeth O.C. Hall

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

10 Citations (Scopus)


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.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)239-247
Number of pages9
JournalInternational Journal of Qualitative Studies on Health and Well-being
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 2008

Other keywords

  • Childbearing
  • Evidence-based care
  • Evidence-based medicine
  • Lifeworld research
  • Nordic countries


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