I have been hard at work coming up with my questionnaire for my survey of local obstetricians and gynecologists about birth interventions. I am planning on posting the completed survey when I am finished, unless there are some concerns with that. I don’t think any of my subjects read my blog, so I doubt it will add any bias to the results. Besides, it’s not like these issues are new to these practitioners. It’s not like a blog post with questions about these interventions will suddenly make them relevant to their practice.
The wording of some of the questions is based on the survey in this study by Reime et al, and many others are taken directly from ACOG position statements, USPSTF evidence based conclusions, and the like.
So far the interventions I will definitely be asking about are:
Doulas (Continuous Labor Support)
Vaginal Birth After Cesarean (VBAC) and Trial of Labor (TOL) after Cesarean Section
Cesearean Section Without Medical Indication (CWMI) and Cesarean Delivery on Maternal Request (CDMR)
Upright Pushing Stage
Continuous External Fetal Monitoring (EFM) vs Intermittent
Restricting Oral Nutrition During Labor (Solid and/or Liquid)
Interventions that may be included in the survey include:
Estimation of Fetal Weight (EFW) (based on 3rd trimester ultrasound)
Routine Early Amniotomy (Artificial Rupture of Membranes (AROM) )
Oxytocin (Pitocin) Augmentation of Labor
I would like to ask about all of them. We need to make sure the survey is brief enough for the subjects to want to take the time to finish, and I plan on asking multiple questions on each intervention. I think the first list is more directly a balance of evidence based medicine and patient autonomy (which is a much more difficult concept to define than I thought, but that’s a whole ‘nother post). The second list is more practices that lead to the cascade of interventions. For example, oxytocin augmentation usually necessitates continuous EFM.
I didn’t include out of hospital births, even though I think they are an important and relevant point. I wanted to only cover practices under direct control of the obstetrician. That is also why I didn’t include skin to skin contact after delivery. I think that may more depend on the hospital policies and nursing / pediatrics team.
I just need to come up with a few questions about how they keep up with the current standards of care, and then it’s time to whittle it down.
Then, I need to work on my justification. I need to talk about patient empowerment and autonomy without sounding like too much of a militant feminist. Heh, wish me luck with that.