July 13, 2020
Don't Be Afraid of Reading a Research Paper - Tips and Resources to Help
By: Sharon Muza, BS, CD/BDT(DONA), LCCE, FACCE, CLE | 1 Comments
The Six Healthy Birth Practices, the foundation of Lamaze International, is based on evidence and best practice. Childbirth educators may not be aware that behind every one of the six statements there is an extensive bibliography of current studies in support of that practice.
Being able to read and understand research papers is a skill that will serve perinatal professionals well time and time again. It can be intimidating but once you dive in, you may find it is not as difficult as you once thought. The more frequently you give it a go, the easier it becomes. We have covered this topic before in several blog posts and an amazing series here on Connecting the Dots. Today I highlight those resources along with some new ones that have been useful to me.
How to Find Birth Evidence - Dr. Rebecca Dekker provides a short video tutorial on using the Cochrane Library, the gold standard of medical research and a free benefit for Lamaze members, to find out what current research states about any medical topic.
Understanding Research, an outstanding 16 article series written especially for Connecting the Dots by Andrea Lythgoe, LCCE who also hosts the Understanding Research – The Birth Professional’s Guide. This series breaks things down into managable topics that are easy to understand.
A free online course for professionals hosted by the Consumers United for Evidence-Based Healthcare, a collaborative project of the U.S. Cochrane Center has developed a free online course in six parts that look in-depth with real-world examples about how evidence can be the foundation for action.
How to Read a Scientific Paper – by Alexandra Witze is an easy to read but very thorough guide to taking a deep dive on a published study. Her step by step instructions makes the thought of reviewing a study seem easy and completely do-able for all of us. This excellent tip sheet is a great place to start!
And finally, Viva La Evidence - a light-hearted parody on evidence based medicine.
Membership in Lamaze International member includes free access to the Cochrane Collaboration and allows childbirth educators to access the newest and most exhaustive collection of research anywhere on earth. Being able to make sense of the studies you will find not only benefits yourself but the families you work with. Staying current on best practice is our obligation as childbirth educators and developing the skills to evaluate research will prove valuable time and time again.
Do you have some tips or special techniques that you like to use when reading research? Let us know in the comments section below.
TagsResearch Rebecca Dekker Lamaze International Six Healthy Birth Practices Andrea Lythgoe Understanding Research Sharon Muza Cochrane Library