Intrapartum care quality indicators: a systematic approach for achieving consensus

Eur J Obstet Gynecol Reprod Biol. 2013 Jan;166(1):23-9. doi: 10.1016/j.ejogrb.2012.09.018. Epub 2012 Oct 13.


Objective: To identify published maternity intrapartum quality indicators and rationalise them to a core set.

Study design: Prospective qualitative consensus group exercise. A literature search identified sets of intrapartum quality indicators in the English language. These were rationalised to a shortlist using criteria adapted from 'The Good Clinical Indicator Guide'. An expert panel from key UK professions and organisations utilised a modified Delphi process to devise a final agreed set of intrapartum quality indicators that are specific, measurable, modifiable and relevant to clinical practice. Each indicator was rated in two rounds of web-based surveys, followed by a final face-to-face meeting of the panel.

Results: 290 clinical indicators were identified within 96 clinical categories with up to 18 different definitions. After rationalisation, 10 core and 24 additional quality indicators entered the Delphi process. A final panel of 12 indicators was defined.

Conclusions: By using a simple Delphi process we have defined a set of broad clinical quality indicators that provide a comprehensive coverage of labour and delivery outcomes. We believe that this pragmatic portfolio will be useful for many wishing to develop performance monitoring and maternity dashboard systems.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Consensus
  • Decision Making, Organizational
  • Delphi Technique
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Perinatal Care / standards*
  • Peripartum Period
  • Pregnancy
  • Quality Indicators, Health Care*