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QUESTION: In women at low risk for obstetric complications, what are the effects of a home-like birth environment compared with those of a conventional labour ward on labour and birth outcomes?
Studies were identified by using the search strategy developed for the Cochrane Pregnancy and Childbirth Group, which included searching Medline and the Cochrane Controlled Trials Register, and by handsearching 38 relevant journal titles.
Studies were selected if they were randomised controlled trials (RCTs) or quasi-RCTs that compared a home-like institutional birth setting with a conventional institutional birth setting in low risk pregnant women.
Data were extracted on methodological quality, including allocation concealment procedure, patient characteristics, birthing centre characteristics, and outcomes. Outcomes were intrapartum medical interventions, intrapartum and …