Regional variations in childbirth interventions and their correlations with adverse outcomes, birthplace and care provider: A nationwide explorative study.
ABSTRACT: BACKGROUND:Variations in childbirth interventions may indicate inappropriate use. Most variation studies are limited by the lack of adjustments for maternal characteristics and do not investigate variations in adverse outcomes. This study aims to explore regional variations in the Netherlands and their correlations with referral rates, birthplace, interventions, and adverse outcomes, adjusted for maternal characteristics. METHODS:In this nationwide retrospective cohort study, using a national data register, intervention rates were analysed between twelve regions among single childbirths after 37 weeks' gestation in 2010-2013 (n = 614,730). These were adjusted for maternal characteristics using multivariable logistic regression. Primary outcomes were intrapartum referral, birthplace, and interventions used in midwife- and obstetrician-led care. Correlations both between primary outcomes and between adverse outcomes were calculated with Spearman's rank correlations. FINDINGS:Intrapartum referral rates varied between 55-68% (nulliparous) and 20-32% (multiparous women), with a negative correlation with receiving midwife-led care at the onset of labour in two-thirds of the regions. Regions with higher referral rates had higher rates of severe postpartum haemorrhages. Rates of home birth varied between 6-16% (nulliparous) and 16-31% (multiparous), and was negatively correlated with episiotomy and postpartum oxytocin rates. Among midwife-led births, episiotomy rates varied between 14-42% (nulliparous) and 3-13% (multiparous) and in obstetrician-led births from 46-67% and 14-28% respectively. Rates of postpartum oxytocin varied between 59-88% (nulliparous) and 50-85% (multiparous) and artificial rupture of membranes between 43-52% and 54-61% respectively. A north-south gradient was visible with regard to birthplace, episiotomy, and oxytocin. CONCLUSIONS:Our study suggests that attitudes towards interventions vary, independent of maternal characteristics. Care providers and policy makers need to be aware of reducing unwarranted variation in birthplace, episiotomy and the postpartum use of oxytocin. Further research is needed to identify explanations and explore ways to reduce unwarranted intervention rates.
Project description:To compare mode of birth and medical interventions between broadly equivalent birth settings in England and the Netherlands.Data were combined from the Birthplace study in England (from April 2008 to April 2010) and the National Perinatal Register in the Netherlands (2009). Low risk women in England planning birth at home (16,470) or in freestanding midwifery units (11,133) were compared with Dutch women with planned home births (40,468). Low risk English women with births planned in alongside midwifery units (16,418) or obstetric units (19,096) were compared with Dutch women with planned midwife-led hospital births (37,887).CS rates varied across planned births settings from 6.5% to 15.5% among nulliparous and 0.6% to 5.1% among multiparous women. CS rates were higher among low risk nulliparous and multiparous English women planning obstetric unit births compared to Dutch women planning midwife-led hospital births (adjusted (adj) OR 1.89 (95% CI 1.64 to 2.18) and 3.66 (2.90 to 4.63) respectively). Instrumental vaginal birth rates varied from 10.7% to 22.5% for nulliparous and from 0.9% to 5.7% for multiparous women. Rates were lower in the English comparison groups apart from planned births in obstetric units. Transfer, augmentation and episiotomy rates were much lower in England compared to the Netherlands for all midwife-led groups. In most comparisons, epidural rates were higher among English groups.When considering maternal outcomes, findings confirm advantages of giving birth in midwife-led settings for low risk women. Further research is needed into strategies to decrease rates of medical intervention in obstetric units in England and to reduce rates of avoidable transfer, episiotomy and augmentation of labour in the Netherlands.
Project description:INTRODUCTION:There are growing concerns about the increase in rates of commonly used childbirth interventions. When indicated, childbirth interventions are crucial for preventing maternal and perinatal morbidity and mortality, but their routine use in healthy women and children leads to avoidable maternal and neonatal harm. Establishing ideal rates of interventions can be challenging. This study aims to describe the range of variations in the use of commonly used childbirth interventions in high-income countries around the world, and in outcomes in nulliparous and multiparous women. METHODS AND ANALYSIS:This multinational cross-sectional study will use data from births in 2013 with national population data or representative samples of the population of pregnant women in high-income countries. Data from women who gave birth to a single child from 37 weeks gestation onwards will be included and the results will be presented for nulliparous and multiparous women separately. Anonymised individual level data will be analysed. Primary outcomes are rates of commonly used childbirth interventions, including induction and/or augmentation of labour, intrapartum antibiotics, epidural and pharmacological pain relief, episiotomy in vaginal births, instrument-assisted birth (vacuum or forceps), caesarean section and use of oxytocin postpartum. Secondary outcomes are maternal and perinatal mortality, Apgar score below 7 at 5?min, postpartum haemorrhage and obstetric anal sphincter injury. Univariable and multivariable logistic regression analyses will be conducted to investigate variations among countries, adjusted for maternal age, body mass index, gestational weight gain, ethnic background, socioeconomic status and infant birth weight. The overall mean rates will be considered as a reference category, weighted for the size of the study population per country. ETHICS AND DISSEMINATION:The Medical Ethics Review Committee of VU University Medical Center Amsterdam confirmed that an official approval of this study was not required. Results will be disseminated at national and international conferences and published in peer-reviewed journals.
Project description:BACKGROUND:Although interventions in childbirth are important in order to prevent neonatal and maternal morbidity and mortality, non-indicated use may cause avoidable harm. Regional variations in intervention rates, which cannot be explained by maternal characteristics, may indicate over- and underuse. The aim of this study is to explore regional variations in childbirth interventions in the Netherlands and their associations with interventions and adverse outcomes, controlled for maternal characteristics. METHODS:Childbirth intervention rates were compared between twelve Dutch regions, using data from the national perinatal birth register for 2010-2013. All single childbirths from 37 weeks' gestation onwards were included. Primary outcomes were induction and augmentation of labour, pain medication, instrumental birth, caesarean section (prelabour, intrapartum) and paediatric involvement. Secondary outcomes were adverse neonatal and maternal outcomes. Multivariable logistic regression analyses were used to adjust for maternal characteristics. Associations were expressed in Spearman's rank correlation coefficients. RESULTS:Most variation was found for type of pain medication and paediatric involvement. Epidural analgesia rates varied from between 12 and 38% (nulliparous) and from between 5 and 14% (multiparous women). These rates were negatively correlated with rates of other pharmacological pain relief, which varied from between 15 and 43% (nulliparous) and from between 10 and 27% (multiparous). Rates of paediatric involvement varied from between 37 and 60% (nulliparous) and from between 26 and 43% (multiparous). For instrumental vaginal births, rates varied from between 16 and 19% (nulliparous) and from between 3 and 4% (multiparous). For intrapartum caesarean section, the variation was 13-15% and 5-6%, respectively. A positive correlation was found between intervention rates in midwife-led and obstetrician-led care at the onset of labour within the same region. Adverse neonatal and maternal outcomes were not lower in regions with higher intervention rates. Higher augmentation of labour rates correlated with higher rates of severe postpartum haemorrhage. CONCLUSIONS:Most variation was found for type of pain medication and paediatric involvement, and least for instrumental vaginal births and intrapartum caesarean sections. Care providers and policy makers should critically audit remarkable variations, since these may be unwarranted. Limited variation for some interventions may indicate consensus for their use. Further research should focus on variations in evidence-based interventions and indications for the use of interventions in childbirth.
Project description:Episiotomy use has decreased due to the lack of evidence on its protective effects from maternal obstetric anal sphincter injuries. Indications for episiotomy vary considerably and there are a great variety of factors associated with its use. The aim of this article is to describe the episiotomy rate in France between 2013 and 2017 and the factors associated with its use in non-operative vaginal deliveries. In this retrospective population-based cohort study, we included vaginal deliveries performed in French hospitals (N?=?584) and for which parity was coded. The variable of interest was the rate of episiotomy, particularly for non-operative vaginal deliveries. Trends in the episiotomy rates were studied using the Cochran-Armitage test. Hierarchical logistic regression was used to identify variables associated with episiotomy according to maternal age and parity. Between 2013 and 2017, French episiotomy rates fell from 21.6 to 14.3% for all vaginal deliveries (p?<?0.01), and from 15.5 to 9.3% (p?<?0.01) for all non-operative vaginal deliveries. Among non-operative vaginal deliveries, epidural analgesia, non-reassuring fetal heart rate, meconium in the amniotic fluid, shoulder dystocia, and newborn weight (??4,000 g) were risk factors for episiotomy, both for nulliparous and multiparous women. On the contrary, prematurity reduced the risk of its use. For nulliparous women, breech presentation was also a risk factor for episiotomy, and for multiparous women, scarred uterus and multiple pregnancies were risk factors. In France, despite a reduction in episiotomy use over the last few years, the factors associated with episiotomy have not changed and are similar to the literature. This suggests that the decrease in episiotomies in France is an overall tendency which is probably related to improved care strategies that have been relayed by hospital teams and perinatal networks.
Project description:<h4>Objective</h4>To test the hypothesis that it is possible to select a group of low risk women who can start labour in midwife-led care without having increased rates of severe adverse maternal outcomes compared to women who start labour in secondary care.<h4>Design and methods</h4>We conducted a nationwide cohort study in the Netherlands, using data from 223 739 women with a singleton pregnancy between 37 and 42 weeks gestation without a previous caesarean section, with spontaneous onset of labour and a child in cephalic presentation. Information on all cases of severe acute maternal morbidity collected by the national study into ethnic determinants of maternal morbidity in the Netherlands (LEMMoN study), 1 August 2004 to 1 August 2006, was merged with data from the Netherlands Perinatal Registry of all births occurring during the same period. Our primary outcome was severe acute maternal morbidity (SAMM, i.e. admission to an intensive care unit, uterine rupture, eclampsia or severe HELLP, major obstetric haemorrhage, and other serious events). Secondary outcomes were postpartum haemorrhage and manual removal of placenta.<h4>Results</h4>Nulliparous and parous women who started labour in midwife-led care had lower rates of SAMM, postpartum haemorrhage and manual removal of placenta compared to women who started labour in secondary care. For SAMM the adjusted odds ratio's and 95% confidence intervals were for nulliparous women: 0.57 (0.45 to 0.71) and for parous women 0.47 (0.36 to 0.62).<h4>Conclusions</h4>Our results suggest that it is possible to identify a group of women at low risk of obstetric complications who may benefit from midwife-led care. Women can be reassured that we found no evidence that midwife-led care at the onset of labour is unsafe for women in a maternity care system with a well developed risk selection and referral system.
Project description:OBJECTIVE:To compare maternal and neonatal outcomes based on length of the latent phase during induction with rupture of membranes before 6 cm dilation. METHODS:This is a retrospective cohort study using data from the Consortium of Safe Labor study, including 9,763 nulliparous and 8,379 multiparous women with singleton, term pregnancies undergoing induction at 2 cm dilation or less with rupture of membranes before 6 cm dilation after which the latent phase ended. Outcomes were evaluated according to duration of oxytocin and rupture of membranes. RESULTS:At time points from 6 to 18 hours of oxytocin and rupture of membranes, the rates of nulliparous women remaining in the latent phase declined (35.9-1.4%) and the rates of vaginal delivery for those remaining in the latent phase at these time periods decreased (54.1-29.9%) Nulliparous women remaining in the latent phase for 12 hours compared with women who had exited the latent phase had significantly increased rates of chorioamnionitis (12.1% compared with 4.1%) and endometritis (3.6% compared with 1.3%) and increased rates of neonatal intensive care unit admission (8.7% compared with 6.3%). Similar patterns were present for multiparous women at 15 hours. CONCLUSION:Based on when neonatal morbidity increased, in an otherwise uncomplicated induction of labor with rupture of membranes, a latent phase after initiation of oxytocin of at least 12 hours for nulliparous women and 15 hours in multiparous women is a reasonable criterion for diagnosing a failed induction.
Project description:BACKGROUND:Though the rate of episiotomy has decreased in France, the overall episiotomy rate was 20% in the 2016 national perinatal survey. We aimed to develop a classification to facilitate the analysis of episiotomy practices and to evaluate whether episiotomy is associated with a reduction in the rate of obstetric anal sphincter injuries (OASIS) for each subgroup. METHODS:This population-based study included all the deliveries that occurred in the Burgundy Perinatal Network from 2011 to 2016. The main outcome was episiotomy, which was identified thanks to the French Common Classification of Medical Procedures. An ascending hierarchical cluster analysis was performed to build the classification. A clinical audit using the classification was conducted yearly in all obstetric units. The episiotomy rates were described throughout the study period for each subgroup of the classification. The OASIS rates were evaluated by subgroup and the association between mediolateral episiotomy and OASIS was investigated for each subgroup. RESULTS:Our analyses included 81,290 pregnant women. The classification comprised 7 subgroups: (1) nulliparous single cephalic at term, (2) nulliparous single cephalic at term with instrumental delivery, (3) multiparous single cephalic at term, (4) multiparous single cephalic at term with instrumental delivery, (5) all preterm deliveries (<?37?weeks gestation), (6) all breech deliveries, (7) all multiple deliveries. Episiotomy rates ranged from 6.2% in Group 3 to 40.9% in Group 2. From 2011 to 2016, every group except breech deliveries experienced a significant decrease in episiotomy rates, ranging from -?28.1 to -?61.0%. The prevalence of OASIS was the highest in Groups 2 (3.0%) and 4 (2.2%). Overall OASIS rates did not significantly differ with episiotomy use (P?=?0.25). However, we found that the use of episiotomy was associated with a reduction in OASIS rates in Groups 1 and 2 (odds ratio 0.6 [95% CI 0.4-0.9] and 0.4 [0.3-0.5], respectively). This reduction was only observed in Group 4 with forceps delivery (odds ratio 0.4 [0.1-0.9]). CONCLUSION:We developed the first classification for the evaluation of episiotomy practices based on 7 clinically relevant subgroups. This easy-to-use tool can help obstetricians and midwives improve their practices through self-assessment.
Project description:OBJECTIVE:The aim of this study was to assess the caesarean section (CS) rates using Robson's 10-Group Classification System among women who gave birth at Hawassa University Referral Hospital in southern Ethiopia. DESIGN:Cross-sectional study design to determine CS rate using Robson's 10-Group Classification System. SETTING:Hawassa University Referral Hospital in south Ethiopia. PARTICIPANTS:4004 women who gave birth in Hawassa University Referral Hospital from June 2018 to June 2019. RESULTS:The 4004 women gave birth to 4165 babies. The overall CS rate was 32.8% (95% CI: 31.4%-34.3%). The major contributors to the overall CS rates were: Robson group 1 (nulliparous women with singleton pregnancy at term in spontaneous labour) 22.9%; group 5 (multiparous women with at least one previous CS) 21.4% and group 3 (multiparous women without previous CS, with singleton pregnancy in spontaneous labour) 17.3%. The most commonly reported indications for CS were 'fetal compromise' (35.3%) followed by previous CS (20.3%) and obstructed labour (10.7%). CONCLUSION:A high proportion of women giving birth at this hospital were given a CS, and many of them were in a low-risk group. Few had trial of labour. More active use of partogram, improving fetal heartbeat-monitoring system, implementing midwife-led care, involving a companion during labour and auditing the appropriateness of CS indications may help to reduce the CS rate.
Project description:OBJECTIVES:To compare the Optimality Index of planned birth in a birth centre with planned birth in a hospital and planned home birth for low-risk term pregnant women who start labour under the responsibility of a community midwife. DESIGN:Prospective cohort study. SETTING:Low-risk pregnant women under care of a community midwife and living in a region with one of the 21 participating Dutch birth centres or in a region with the possibility for midwife-led hospital birth. Home birth was commonly available in all regions included in the study. PARTICIPANTS:3455 low-risk term pregnant women (1686 nulliparous and 1769 multiparous) who gave birth between 1 July 2013 and 31 December 2013: 1668 planned birth centre births, 701 planned midwife-led hospital births and 1086 planned home births. MAIN OUTCOME MEASUREMENTS:The Optimality IndexNL-2015, a tool to measure 'maximum outcome with minimal intervention', was assessed by planned place of birth being a birth centre, a hospital setting or at home. Also, a composite maternal and perinatal adverse outcome score was calculated for the different planned places of birth. RESULTS:There were no differences in Optimality Index NL-2015 for pregnant women who planned to give birth in a birth centre compared with women who planned to give birth in a hospital. Although effect sizes were small, women who planned to give birth at home had a higher Optimality Index NL-2015 than women who planned to give birth in a birth centre. The differences were larger for multiparous than for nulliparous women. CONCLUSION:The Optimality Index NL-2015 for women with planned birth centre births was comparable with planned midwife-led hospital births. Women with planned home births had a higher Optimality Index NL-2015, that is, a higher sum score of evidence-based items with an optimal value than women with planned birth centre births.
Project description:<h4>Objective</h4>To assess the association of oxytocin augmentation with obstetric anal sphincter injury among nulliparous women.<h4>Design</h4>Population-based, case-control study.<h4>Setting</h4>Primary and secondary teaching hospital serving a Norwegian region.<h4>Population</h4>15?476 nulliparous women with spontaneous start of labour, single cephalic presentation and gestation ?37?weeks delivering vaginally between 1999 and 2012.<h4>Methods</h4>Based on the presence or absence of oxytocin augmentation, episiotomy, operative vaginal delivery and birth weight (<4000 vs ?4000?g), we modelled in logistic regression the best fit for prediction of anal sphincter injury. Within the modified model of main exposures, we tested for possible confounding, and interactions between maternal age, ethnicity, occiput posterior position and epidural analgaesia.<h4>Main outcome measure</h4>Obstetric anal sphincter injury.<h4>Results</h4>Oxytocin augmentation was associated with a higher OR of obstetric anal sphincter injuries in women giving spontaneous birth to infants weighing <4000?g (OR 1.8; 95% CI 1.5 to 2.2). Episiotomy was not associated with sphincter injuries in spontaneous births, but with a lower OR in operative vaginal deliveries. Spontaneous delivery of infants weighing ?4000?g was associated with a threefold higher OR, and epidural analgaesia was associated with a 30% lower OR in comparison to no epidural analgaesia.<h4>Conclusions</h4>Oxytocin augmentation was associated with a higher OR of obstetric anal sphincter injuries during spontaneous deliveries of normal-size infants. We observed a considerable effect modification between the most important factors predicting anal sphincter injuries in the active second stage of labour.