Reliability of ultrasound dating

It is acceptable to women because it often provides reassurance of fetal growth and well-being, is easily obtainable, inexpensive and relatively noninvasive.It has become an integral aspect of midwifery care.The predictive value has been studied by several investigators who found limited evidence to support its use ( Lindhard, 1990 ) and others who found problems related to interexaminer reliability and clinician bias.( Engstrom, 1994 ) It is the aim of this study to consider the literature and to determine the validity and reliability of this commonly performed intervention.Clinicians are increasingly expected to adopt evidence-based practice, using research findings to make informed decisions and influence their actions.( Rooks, 1999 ) Evidence based practice can help to ensure that interventions are clinically appropriate, cost effective, and result in positive outcomes for clients.The fundal height measurement is a widely used technique involving measurement of the maternal abdomen from the symphysis pubis to the uterine fundus with a tape measure during the second and third trimesters of pregnancy.It is easily obtainable, inexpensive and relatively noninvasive but the technique has been questioned as to its usefulness and reliability.such as fetal growth disturbance, multiple gestation, amniotic fluid disorder and erroneous dating.

However, it is well documented that, despite considerable and careful examination of fundal height, fetal growth abnormalities are not always recognized antenatally.

Research has raised some questions about the technique and usefulness of fundal height measurement.

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