Birth control : to what extent do women report being informed and involved in decisions about pregnancy and birth procedures?

Thompson, Rachel & Miller, Yvette D. (2014) Birth control : to what extent do women report being informed and involved in decisions about pregnancy and birth procedures? BMC Pregnancy and Childbirth, 14(62).

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Background: Health policy, guidelines, and standards advocate giving patients comprehensive information and facilitating their involvement in health-related decision-making. Routine assessment of patient reports of these processes is needed. Our objective was to examine decision-making processes, specifically information provision and consumer involvement in decision-making, for nine pregnancy, labour, and birth procedures, as reported by maternity care consumers in Queensland, Australia.

Methods: Participants were women who had a live birth in Queensland in a specified time period and were not found to have had a baby that died since birth, who completed the extended Having a Baby in Queensland Survey, 2010 about their maternity care experiences, and who reported at least one of the nine procedures of interest. For each procedure, women answered two questions that measured perceived (i) receipt of information about the benefits and risks of the procedure and (ii) role in decision-making about the procedure.

Results: In all, 3,542 eligible women (34.2%) completed the survey. Between 4% (for pre-labour caesarean section) and 60% (for vaginal examination) of women reported not being informed of the benefits and risks of the procedure they experienced. Between 2% (epidural) and 34% (episiotomy) of women reported being unconsulted in decision-making. Over one quarter (26%) of the women who experienced episiotomy reported being neither informed nor consulted.

Conclusions: There is an urgent need for interventions that facilitate information provision and consumer involvement in decision-making about several perinatal procedures, especially those performed within the time-limited intrapartum care episode.

Impact and interest:

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7 citations in Web of Science®

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ID Code: 67104
Item Type: Journal Article
Refereed: Yes
Keywords: Decision-making, Maternity care, Patient participation, Patient-reported outcomes, Paternalism
DOI: 10.1186/1471-2393-14-62
ISSN: 1471-2393
Subjects: Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > MEDICAL AND HEALTH SCIENCES (110000) > PUBLIC HEALTH AND HEALTH SERVICES (111700)
Divisions: Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > Faculty of Health
Current > Institutes > Institute of Health and Biomedical Innovation
Current > Schools > School of Public Health & Social Work
Copyright Owner: Copyright 2014 Thompson and Miller
Copyright Statement: This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly credited.
Deposited On: 09 Feb 2014 23:29
Last Modified: 09 Mar 2014 16:42

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