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Research article2022Peer reviewedOpen access

Room4Birth-The effect of giving birth in a hospital birthing room designed with person-centred considerations: A Swedish randomised controlled trial

Goldkuhl, Lisa; Gyllensten, Hanna; Begley, Cecily; Wijk, Helle; Nilsson, Christina; Lindahl, Goran; Ringqvist, Anna-Karin; Uvnas-Moberg, Kerstin; Berg, Marie


Objective: To evaluate if a birthing room designed with person-centred considerations improves labour and birth outcomes for nulliparous women when compared to regular birthing rooms. Methods: A randomised controlled trial was conducted at a Swedish labour ward between January 2019 and October 2020. Nulliparous women in spontaneous labour were randomised either to a birthing room designed with person-centred considerations (New room) or a Regular room. The primary outcome was a composite of four variables: vaginal non-instrumental birth; no oxytocin augmentation; postpartum blood loss < 1000 ml; and a positive childbirth experience. To detect a difference of 8% between the groups, 1274 study participants were needed, but the trial was terminated early due to consequences of the Covid-19 pandemic. Results: A total of 406 women were randomised; 204 to the New room and 202 to the Regular room. There was no significant difference in the primary outcome between the groups (42.2% versus 35.1%; odds ratio: 1.35, 95% Confidence Interval 0.90-2.01; p = 0.18). Participants in the New room used epidural analgesia to a lower extent (54.4% versus 65.3%, relative risk: 0.83, 95% Confidence Interval 0.71-0.98; p = 0.03) and reported to a higher degree that the room contributed to a sense of safety, control, and integrity (p=< 0.001). Conclusions: The hypothesis that the New room would improve the primary outcome could not be verified. Considering the early discontinuation of the study, results should be interpreted with caution. Nevertheless, analyses of our secondary outcomes emphasise the experiential value of the built birth environment in improving care for labouring women.


Childbirth; Birth room design; Randomised controlled trial; Nulliparous; Birth environment

Published in

Sexual & Reproductive Healthcare
2022, Volume: 32, article number: 100731

    Sustainable Development Goals

    SDG3 Good health and well-being

    UKÄ Subject classification

    Public Health, Global Health, Social Medicine and Epidemiology
    Obstetrics, Gynecology and Reproductive Medicine

    More information

    Correction in: Sexual & Reproductive Healthcare, Volume 37, September 2023, Article Number: 100883. DOI:

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