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J R Soc Med. 1980 November; 73(11): 786–792.
PMCID: PMC1437950

Delivery and development: to what extent can one associate cause and effect?1


Data on 570 mothers and their children whose development was personally assessed from birth to four years were analysed. Strong associations were found between the incidence of fetal distress during labour, birth asphyxia, and delivery by emergency caesarean section. At the age of four years girls and children in the non-manual social classes were more advanced, developmentally, than boys and children in the manual classes. No associations were found between perinatal factors and total developmental scores; but highly significant differences were found between `at risk' pregnancy groups according to their method of developmental scores. In only one of seven handicapped children could the handicap possibly have been attributable to delivery factors. Case histories of two children illustrate the dangers and difficulties of associating cause and effect in individual patients.

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Selected References

These references are in PubMed. This may not be the complete list of references from this article.
  • Ounsted MK, Hendrick AM, Mutch LM, Calder AA, Good FJ. Induction of labour by different methods in primiparous women. I Some perinatal and postnatal problems. Early Hum Dev. 1978 Sep;2(3):227–239. [PubMed]
  • Ounsted MK, Moar VA, Good FJ, Redman CW. Hypertension during pregnancy with and without specific treatment; the development of the children at the age of four years. Br J Obstet Gynaecol. 1980 Jan;87(1):19–24. [PubMed]
  • Ounsted MK, Osborn ML, Sleigh G, Good FJ. A method of developmental assessment at four years and some associated findings. Early Hum Dev. 1979 Mar;3(1):1–19. [PubMed]
  • Yudkin P, Frumar AM, Anderson AB, Turnbull AC. A retrospective study of induction of labour. Br J Obstet Gynaecol. 1979 Apr;86(4):257–265. [PubMed]

Articles from Journal of the Royal Society of Medicine are provided here courtesy of Royal Society of Medicine Press