Soo Downe

Soo Downe
University of Central Lancashire | UCLAN · College of Health and Wellbeing

About

300
Publications
160,023
Reads
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10,054
Citations
Citations since 2016
118 Research Items
7618 Citations
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201620172018201920202021202202004006008001,0001,2001,400
201620172018201920202021202202004006008001,0001,2001,400
201620172018201920202021202202004006008001,0001,2001,400

Publications

Publications (300)
Article
This is the first article in a series reflecting on the role of research midwives in the ASPIRE (Achieving Safe and Personalised maternity care In Response to Epidemics) study. In this article we introduce ASPIRE and provide an overview of the study. We also reflect on what makes ASPIRE uniquely midwifery-led within the National Institute for Healt...
Article
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UK legislation and government policy favour women’s rights to bodily autonomy and active involvement in childbirth decision-making including the right to decline recommendations of care/treatment. However, evidence suggests that both women and maternity professionals can face challenges enacting decisions outside of sociocultural norms. This study...
Article
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Introduction: Rates of medical interventions in normal labour and birth are increasing. This prospective meta-analysis (PMA) proposes to assess whether the addition of a comprehensive multicomponent birth preparation programme reduces caesarean section (CS) in nulliparous women compared with standard hospital care. Additionally, do participant cha...
Article
Aim: The purpose of this study was to summarise the evidence of the clinical and psychological impacts of COVID-19 on perinatal women and their infants. Methods: A rapid scoping review was conducted based on methods proposed by Arksey and O’Malley, and the World Health Organization’s (WHO) practical guide for rapid reviews. We searched EMBASE, MED...
Article
Full-text available
Introduction The postnatal period is an underserved aspect of maternity care. Guidelines for postnatal care are not usually informed by what matters to the women who use it. This qualitative systematic review was undertaken to identify what matters to women in the postnatal period, to inform the scope of a new World Health Organization (WHO) postna...
Preprint
Full-text available
This paper presents a rapid evidence review into the clinical and psychological impacts of COVID-19 on perinatal women and their infants. Literature search revealed that there is very little formal evidence on the impact of COVID-19 on pregnant, labouring and postnatal women or their babies. The clinical evidence to date suggests that pregnant and...
Article
Introduction: Midwifery care is associated with positive birth outcomes, access to community birth options, and judicious use of interventions. The aim of this study was to characterize and compare maternity care preferences of university students across a range of maternity care systems and to explore whether preferences align with evidence-based...
Article
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Background: Evidence based practice has been associated with better quality of care in many situations, but it has not been able to address increasing need and demand in healthcare globally and stagnant or decreasing healthcare resources. Implementation of value-based healthcare could address many important challenges in health care systems worldw...
Article
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Background: Caesarean section rates are rising across all geographical regions. Very high rates for some groups of women co-occur with very low rates for others. Both extremes are associated with short and longer term harms. This is a major public health concern. Making the most effective use of caesarean section is a critical component of good qu...
Article
Although induction of labor can be crucial for preventing morbidity and mortality, more and more women (and their offspring) are being exposed to the disadvantages of this intervention while the benefit is at best small or even uncertain. Characteristics such as an advanced maternal age, a non-native ethnicity, a high Body Mass Index, an artificial...
Article
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Objective: To systematically develop evidence-based bundles for care of postpartum hemorrhage (PPH). Methods: An international technical consultation was conducted in 2017 to develop draft bundles of clinical interventions for PPH taken from the WHO's 2012 and 2017 PPH recommendations and based on the validated "GRADE Evidence-to-Decision" frame...
Article
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Background: In neonatal care, assessment of the temperature of the neonate is essential to confirm on-going health, and as an early signal of potential pathology. However, some methods of temperature assessment involve disturbing the baby, disrupting essential sleep patterns, and interrupting maternal/infant interaction. Thermal imaging is a compl...
Article
Full-text available
Coercive practices, such as physical restraint, are used globally to respond to violent, aggressive and other behaviours displayed by mental health service users.1 A number of approaches have been designed to aid staff working within services to minimise the use of restraint and other restrictive practices. One such approach, the ‘REsTRAIN Yourself...
Article
Full-text available
Objective To review what is known about the relationship between stillbirth and inequalities from different disciplinary perspectives to inform stillbirth prevention strategies. Design Systematic review using the meta-narrative method. Setting Studies undertaken in the UK. Data sources Scoping phase: experts in field, exploratory electronic sear...
Chapter
In maternal healthcare, structural patriarchy provides only a partial explanation for the violence that women are increasingly expressing, revealed in data showing that women are more likely to express abuse from female rather than male healthcare deliverers. To a large degree, the enforcement of standardised care has contributed to an increased di...
Article
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Background: WHO has recognised the need to ensure that guideline processes are transparent and evidence based, and that the resulting recommendations are relevant and applicable. Along with decision-making criteria that require findings from effectiveness reviews, WHO is increasingly using evidence derived from qualitative evidence syntheses (QES)...
Article
Full-text available
Background: This is the third in a series of three papers describing the use of qualitative evidence syntheses (QES) to inform the development of clinical and health systems guidelines. WHO has recognised the need to improve its guideline methodology to ensure that decision-making processes are transparent and evidence based, and that the resultin...
Article
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Background: WHO has recognised the need to improve its guideline methodology to ensure that guideline decision-making processes are transparent and evidence based, and that the resulting recommendations are relevant and applicable. To help achieve this, WHO guidelines now typically enhance intervention effectiveness data with evidence on a wider r...
Article
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Background: Intermittent auscultation (IA) is the technique of listening to and counting the fetal heart rate (FHR) for short periods during active labour and continuous cardiotocography (CTC) implies FHR monitoring for longer periods. Although the evidence suggests that IA is the best way to monitor healthy women at low risk of complications, the...
Article
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Aaron Antonovsky advanced the concept of salutogenesis almost four decades ago (Antonovsky, Health, Stress and Coping. Jossey-Bass, San Francisco, CA, 1979; Unravelling the Mystery of Health. Jossey-Bass, San Francisco, CA, 1987). Salutogenesis posits that life experiences shape the sense of coherence (SOCthat helps to mobilize resources to cope wi...
Article
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Background: Antenatal care (ANC) is a core component of maternity care. However, both quality of care provision and rates of attendance vary widely between and within countries. Qualitative research can assess factors underlying variation, including acceptability, feasibility, and the values and beliefs that frame provision and uptake of ANC progr...
Article
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Background: Many women use pharmacological or non-pharmacological pain relief during childbirth. Evidence from Cochrane reviews shows that effective pain relief is not always associated with high maternal satisfaction scores. However, understanding women's views is important for good quality maternity care provision. We undertook a qualitative evi...
Article
Full-text available
Introduction Safe staffing and coercive practices are of pressing concern for mental health services. These are inter‐dependent and the relationship is under‐researched. Aim To explore views on staffing levels in context of attempting to minimise physical restraint practices on mental health wards. Findings emerged from a wider dataset with the br...
Article
Full-text available
Background Postpartum haemorrhage (PPH) is a leading cause of maternal mortality and morbidity. Reducing deaths from PPH is a global challenge. The voices of women and healthcare providers have been missing from the debate around best practices for PPH prevention. The aim of this review was to identify, appraise and synthesize available evidence ab...
Data
Study selection and CERQual grading. (XLSX)
Article
Full-text available
International efforts to minimize coercive practices include the US Six Core Strategies© (6CS). This innovative approach has limited evidence of its effectiveness, with few robustly designed studies, and has not been formally implemented or evaluated in the UK. An adapted version of the 6CS, which we called ‘REsTRAIN Yourself’ (RY), was devised to...
Article
Full-text available
Background: Physical restraint is a coercive intervention used to prevent individuals from harming themselves or others. However, serious adverse effects have been reported. Minimising the use of restraint requires a multimodal approach to target both organisational and individual factors. The 'Six Core Strategies' developed in America, underpinne...
Article
Introduction: Women can face opposition when exerting autonomous decision-making regarding their birth choices, particularly when the decisions involve going against medical advice and/or outside of national guidelines. Termed ‘unconventional birth choices’, some research has explored women’s reasons and experiences of making such choices, but less...
Experiment Findings
The review comprised 81 articles, 10 videos, six birth shows, two informational leaflets and one scientific paper. The central themes were: 1) CS as risky and unnecessary intervention, failure of maternity system; 2) cS as a necessary, life-saving intervention; 3) the ethical dimensions of cS; 4) the changing landscape of childbirth and medicalizat...
Article
Full-text available
Objective To establish the views and experiences of healthcare professionals in relation to interventions targeted at them to reduce unnecessary caesareans. Design Qualitative evidence synthesis. Setting Studies undertaken in high-income, middle-income and low-income settings. Data sources Seven databases (CINAHL, MEDLINE, PsychINFO, Embase, Glo...
Article
Many studies highlight how health is influenced by the settings in which people live, work, and receive health care. In particular, the setting in which childbirth takes place is highly influential. The physiological processes of women's labor and birth are enhanced in optimal ("salutogenic," or health promoting) environments. Settings can also mak...
Article
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Objective: To synthesise qualitative studies on women’s psychological experiences of physiological childbirth. Design: Meta-synthesis. Methods: Studies exploring women’s psychological experiences of physiological birth using qualitative methods were eligible. The research group searched the following databases: MEDLINE, CINAHL, PsycINFO, PsycARTICL...
Article
Full-text available
Objective: To synthesis qualitative studies on women’s psychological experiences of physiological childbirth. Design Meta-synthesis. Methods Studies exploring women’s psychological experiences of physiological birth using qualitative methods were eligible. Results Eight studies involving 94 women were included. Three third order interpretations we...
Article
Background: The publication of the World Health Organization (WHO) recommendations on antenatal care in 2016 introduced the perspective of women as a necessary component of clinical guidelines in maternity care. WHO highlights the crucial role played by evidence-based recommendations in promoting and supporting normal birth processes and a positiv...
Article
Background: There is an increasing emphasis on humanized care in obstetric and midwifery practice. The goal of this paper is to investigate if and how medical humanities content was present in the undergraduate medical syllabus and how similar or different this is from the undergraduate midwifery programme in Italy. Methods: A review of the 2017...
Article
Optimising the use of caesarean section (CS) is of global concern. Underuse leads to maternal and perinatal mortality and morbidity. Conversely, overuse of CS has not shown benefits and can create harm. Worldwide, the frequency of CS continues to increase, and interventions to reduce unnecessary CSs have shown little success. Identifying the underl...
Article
Background: The most recent WHO recommendations "Intrapartum care for a positive childbirth experience" highlight the need to identify women-centred interventions and outcomes for intrapartum care, and to include service users' experiences and qualitative research into the assessment of maternity care. Babies Born Better (B3) is a trans-European s...
Article
Full-text available
Background: Cyprus has Europe's highest rate of births by Caesarean Section (CS). In 2015 56% of all babies were born by CS. This compares with 36% in Italy, and 16% in Iceland, which is among the lowest rates in Europe. There is some evidence that CS rates are partly driven by maternal request and media representation. Purpose: To explore the d...
Article
Full-text available
Objective When medically indicated, caesarean section can prevent deaths and other serious complications in mothers and babies. Lack of access to caesarean section may result in increased maternal and perinatal mortality and morbidity. However, rising caesarean section rates globally suggest overuse in healthy women and babies, with consequent iatr...
Data
CERQual summary of evidence profile. (DOCX)
Data
Example search strategy. (DOCX)
Article
Problem & aim: Cultural beliefs that equate birth technology with progress, safety and convenience contribute to widespread acceptance of childbirth technology and interventions. Little is known about attitudes towards childbirth technology and interventions among the next generation of maternity care users and whether attitudes vary by country, a...
Article
Full-text available
Background: There is continued debate about the role of women and communities in influencing rising rates of caesarean section (CS). In settings where CS rates exceed recommended levels, mothers and babies are exposed to potential harms that may outweigh the potential benefits. There is therefore a need to understand how educational interventions...