or search evidence on Discover Portal

Dissemination Centre

An in-depth look at the research

This Highlight is based upon the following published studies. You may also find it useful to be aware of studies that are still underway, listed at the end of each section.

Induction of labour

  • Walker KF, Bugg GJ, Macpherson M, McCormick C, Grace N, Wildsmith C, et al. Randomized Trial of Labor Induction in Women 35 Years of Age or Older.  The New England Journal of Medicine 2016; 374(9):813-822.  https://europepmc.org/abstract/MED/26962902

A non-NIHR study conducted in the US that may be of interest and whose findings are consistent with the Walker study (above) is as follows:

Ongoing research about induction of labour

Bhide et al. Funder: NIHR Research for Patient Benefit Programme


Ongoing research about waterbirth

Sanders et al. Funder: NIHR Health Technology Assessment Programme

Interpreting fetal heart rate

Pain relief

Wilson MJA, MacArthur C, Hewitt CA, Handley K, Gao F, Beeson L et al.  Intravenous remifentanil patient-controlled analgesia versus intramuscular pethidine for pain relief in labour (RESPITE): an open-label, multicentre, randomised controlled trial. The Lancet 25 August 2018;392(10148):662-672.

Position for delivery

  • Walker KF, Kibuka M, Thornton JG, Jones NW. Maternal position in the second stage of labour for women with epidural anaesthesia. Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews 2018, Issue 11. Art. No.: CD008070. DOI: 10.1002/14651858.CD008070.pub4


Ongoing research on factors that may influence delivery:

Shared decision-making

Interactional practices of decision making during childbirth in maternity units.   Annandale et al. Funder: NIHR Health Services and Delivery Research Programme

Delay in labour

High Or Low Dose Syntocinon for delay in labour (HOLDS). Kenyon et al. Funder: NIHR Health Technology Assessment Programme

  • The very large Birthplace in England study compared outcomes for mothers and babies by place of birth: obstetric unit, midwife led unit or home.  Read more about it in our Signal

Cochrane also have interesting visual summaries of some of their reviews: https://pregnancy.cochrane.org/whats-new

  • The NHS website provides information about all aspects of pregnancy, labour and delivery https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/pregnancy-and-baby/?tabname=labour-and-birth

These published studies form part of our Highlight on the Management of Labour which takes an evidence-based look at induction, pain relief, waterbirth and more . To read the Highlight in full click here

National Institute for Health Research, Room 132, Richmond House, 79 Whitehall, London, SW1A 2NS

© 2016 - 2019 NIHR, all rights reserved