Is Asian ethnicity an independent risk factor for severe perineal trauma in childbirth? A systematic review of the literature

Liverpool Hospital, Sydney South West Area Health Service, Elizabeth Street, Liverpool, NSW, 2170, Australia.
Women and Birth (Impact Factor: 1.7). 08/2011; 25(3):107-13. DOI: 10.1016/j.wombi.2011.08.003
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT To undertake a systematic review of the literature to determine whether Asian ethnicity is an independent risk factor for severe perineal trauma in childbirth.
Ovid Medline, CINAHL, and Cochrane databases published in English were used to identify appropriate research articles from 2000 to 2010, using relevant terms in a variety of combinations. All articles included in this systematic review were assessed using the Critical Appraisal Skills Programme (CASP) 'making sense of evidence' tools.
Asian ethnicity does not appear to be a risk factor for severe perineal trauma for women living in Asia. In contrast, studies conducted in some Western countries have identified Asian ethnicity as a risk factor for severe perineal trauma. It is unknown why (in some situations) Asian women are more vulnerable to this birth complication. The lack of an international standard definition for the term Asian further undermines clarification of this issue. Nevertheless, there is an urgent need to explore why Asian women are reported to be significantly at risk for severe perineal trauma in some Western countries.
Current research on this topic is confusing and conflicting. Further research is urgently required to explore why Asian women are at risk for severe perineal trauma in some birth settings.

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    ABSTRACT: Background Empirical evidence regarding maternal quality and safety outcomes across heterogeneous Asian and Pacific Islanders subgroups in the United States is limited, despite the importance of this topic to health disparities research and quality improvement efforts. Methods Detailed discharge data from all Hawai‘i childbirth hospitalizations (n = 75,725) from 2008 to 2012 were considered. Validated measures of maternal quality and safety were compared in descriptive and multivariable models across seven racial/ethnic groups: Filipino, Native Hawaiian, other Pacific Islander (e.g., Samoan, Tongan, Micronesian), Japanese, Chinese, white, and other race/ethnicity. Multivariable models adjusted for age group, payer, rural vs. urban hospital location, multiple gestation, and high-risk pregnancy. Results Compared to whites, Japanese, Filipinos, and Other Pacific Islanders had significantly higher overall delivery complication rates while Native Hawaiians had significantly lower rates. Native Hawaiians also had significantly lower rates of obstetric trauma in vaginal delivery with and without instruments compared to whites (Rate Ratio (RR):0.66; 95% CI:0.50-0.87 and RR:0.62; 95% CI:0.52-0.74, respectively). Japanese and Chinese had significantly higher rates of obstetric trauma for vaginal deliveries without instruments (RR:1.52; 95% CI:1.27-1.81 and RR:1.95;95% CI:1.53-2.48, respectively) compared to whites, and Chinese also had significantly higher rates of birth trauma in vaginal delivery with instrument (RR 1.42; 95% CI:1.06-1.91). Filipinos and Other Pacific Islanders had significantly higher rates of Cesarean deliveries compared to whites (RR:1.15; 95% CI:1.11-1.20 and RR:1.16; 95% CI:1.10-1.22, respectively). Other Pacific Islanders also had significantly higher rates of vaginal births after Cesarean (VBAC) deliveries compared to whites (RR: 1.28; 95% CI:1.08-1.51) and Japanese had significantly lower rates of uncomplicated VBACs (RR:0.77; 95% CI:0.63-0.94). Conclusions Significant variation was seen for Asian and Pacific Islander subgroups across maternal quality and safety outcomes. Notably, high rates of obstetric trauma were seen among Chinese and Japanese vaginal deliveries. Filipinos and other Pacific Islanders had high rates of Cesarean deliveries. Native Hawaiians had better quality and safety outcomes than whites on several quality and safety measures, including obstetric trauma during vaginal delivery. Other Pacific Islanders had high rates of VBACs, while Japanese had lower rates. This information can help guide clinical practice, research, and quality improvement efforts.
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    ABSTRACT: Patients with limited English proficiency have known limitations accessing health care, but differences in hospital outcomes once access is obtained are unknown. We investigate inpatient mortality rates and obstetric trauma for self-reported speakers of English, Spanish, and languages of Asia and the Pacific Islands (API) and compare quality of care by language with patterns by race/ethnicity. Data were from the United States Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, Healthcare Cost and Utilization Project, 2009 State Inpatient Databases for California. There were 3,757,218 records. Speaking a non-English principal language and having a non-White race/ethnicity did not place patients at higher risk for inpatient mortality; the exception was significantly higher stroke mortality for Japanese-speaking patients. Patients who spoke API languages or had API race/ethnicity had higher risk for obstetric trauma than English-speaking White patients. Spanish-speaking Hispanic patients had more obstetric trauma than English-speaking Hispanic patients. The influence of language on obstetric trauma and the potential effects of interpretation services on inpatient care are discussed. The broader context of policy implications for collection and reporting of language data is also presented. Results from other countries with and without English as a primary language are needed for the broadest interpretation and generalization of outcomes.