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Midwifery, Obstetrics, and Neonatology

  1. Alison Macfarlane1,
  2. Diana Elbourne2

Published Online: 15 JUL 2005

DOI: 10.1002/0470011815.b2a08029

Encyclopedia of Biostatistics

Encyclopedia of Biostatistics

How to Cite

Macfarlane, A. and Elbourne, D. 2005. Midwifery, Obstetrics, and Neonatology. Encyclopedia of Biostatistics. 5.

Author Information

  1. 1

    City University London, London, UK

  2. 2

    ICRF, Radcliffe Infirmary, Oxford, UK

Publication History

  1. Published Online: 15 JUL 2005


Midwifery is the profession responsible for care in normal pregnancy and labor, obstetrics is the profession that deals with pregnancies with clinical complications, and neonatology is concerned with care for sick newborn babies. Members of these professions and others concerned with evaluating the care they give in the context of clinical, environmental, and genetic factors have measured the outcome in terms of maternal and infant mortality and morbidity and used a range of descriptive, analytical, and experimental approaches to do so. From the mid-nineteenth century onwards, routine vital statistics have been used to describe trends and variations. In latter half of the twentieth century, these were analyzed by correlation, regression, and later multivariate analysis, with techniques being developed for record linkage. Clinicians in these profession and associated researchers were among the first to use randomized trials to evaluate care and meta-analyses to synthesis the results of trials.


  • midwifery;
  • obstetrics;
  • neonatology;
  • maternal mortality;
  • infant mortality;
  • maternal morbidity;
  • childhood morbidity;
  • vital statistics;
  • record linkage;
  • perinatal trials;
  • meta-analysis