Editor's Choice

The definition, screening, and treatment of postpartum anemia: A systematic review of guidelines

Birth. 2021 Mar;48(1):14-25 doi: 10.1111/birt.12519.
PICO Summary
POPULATION:

Women with postpartum anaemia.

INTERVENTION:

Systematic review comparing global recommendations regarding the appropriate management of postpartum anaemia, highlighting similarities and differences (7 guidelines).

COMPARISON:

OUTCOME:

Two sets of guidelines were elaborated by international organizations, the rest were produced by professional associations within high-resource countries. The discrepancies found in the guidelines were important and affected the definition of anaemia, the criteria for screening asymptomatic women, or the criteria guiding treatment. The quality of the guidelines commonly scored between 4 and 6 on a scale of 0 to 7. Recommendations with poor-quality evidence predominated over recommendations with high-quality evidence.

Abstract
BACKGROUND:

Postpartum anemia can negatively affect maternal health and interfere with early parenting. Thus, it is important to have clear, evidence-informed recommendations on its diagnosis and treatment.

OBJECTIVE:

To compare global recommendations regarding the appropriate management of postpartum anemia and to highlight similarities and differences.

METHODS:

Systematic searches were conducted in the databases PubMed, CINAHL, LILACS, TRIP database, and Scopus, and in the websites of health institutions and scientific societies. Search terms were related to anemia and the postpartum period. Two hundred and eighty papers were identified; the full texts of 30 sets of guidelines were reviewed, with seven being included in the final analysis. Recommendations were extracted through an evaluation of the evidence on the definition, screening, and diagnosis of anemia. The quality of the guidelines was assessed using the AGREE II instrument.

RESULTS:

Two sets of guidelines have been elaborated by international organizations, and the rest were produced by professional associations within high-resource countries. The discrepancies found in the guidelines are important and affect the definition of anemia, the criteria for screening asymptomatic women, or the criteria guiding treatment. The quality of the guidelines commonly scored between 4 and 6 on a scale of 0 to 7. Recommendations with poor-quality evidence predominated over recommendations with high-quality evidence.

CONCLUSIONS:

This review highlights the need to reach a consensus on the definition of postpartum anemia, to agree on what constitutes a problem for maternal health, and to provide recommendations that reach greater consensus on its diagnosis and treatment.

Metadata
KEYWORDS: anemia; clinical practice guidelines; postpartum
MESH HEADINGS: Anemia; Female; Humans; Mass Screening; Postpartum Period
Study Details
Study Design: Systematic Review
Language: eng
Credits: Bibliographic data from MEDLINE®/PubMed®, a database of the U.S. National Library of Medicine