Retrospective cohort study: time of birth and risk of neonatal death at term
Does being born out of hours make a newborn more likely to die?
- By: Helen Macdonald
The authors ask whether there is a link between out of hours birth and neonatal death. They think this is important because the answer might help doctors and policy makers understand and plan better obstetric and neonatal care.
The introduction of any research paper should make the context of the research question clear. Other researchers have investigated this question before—their studies are referenced in the introduction. So the research question is not original. The answer these authors find will add to a body of existing literature. When the research question has been studied before, it is important that the authors explain why their study is needed to avoid wasting research resources. These authors argue that the results of previous studies are conflicting, and that methodological difficulties that make previous studies prone to bias or inaccuracy. They acknowledge that this might be because the research question is difficult to answer.