Findings of meta-analysis cannot be relied onBMJ 2010; 341 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.c4033 (Published 27 July 2010) Cite this as: BMJ 2010;341:c4033
- Gill Gyte, research associate1,
- Miranda Dodwell, editor, BirthChoiceUK2,
- Mary Newburn, head, research and information3,
- Jane Sandall, professor of women’s health4,
- Alison Macfarlane, professor of perinatal health5,
- Susan Bewley, consultant obstetrician/maternal-fetal medicine6
- 1Cochrane Pregnancy and Childbirth Group, Division of Perinatal and Reproductive Medicine, University of Liverpool, Liverpool Women’s NHS Foundation Trust, Liverpool L8 7SS
- 2c/o NCT, Alexandra House, London W3 6NH
- 3NCT, Alexandra House, London W3 6NH
- 4Department of Primary Care and Public Health, King’s College London, London SE1 3QD
- 5Department of Midwifery and Child Health, City University London, London E1 2EA
- 6Women’s Services, Guy’s and St Thomas’ NHS Foundation Trust, London SE1 7EH
Mayor reports that a meta-analysis has linked planned home births with a twofold higher rate of neonatal mortality compared with hospital births.1 2 Closer inspection calls this finding into question.
The quality of studies in any meta-analysis is critical, but no assessment was reported. Studies were observational with many not matched adequately for confounders.