Does vaginal breech delivery have a future despite low volumes for training? Results of a questionnaire

Eur J Obstet Gynecol Reprod Biol. 2018 Oct:229:123-126. doi: 10.1016/j.ejogrb.2018.08.020. Epub 2018 Aug 19.


Objective: Since publication of the Term Breech Trial in 2000 only 15% of term breech presentations is delivered vaginally in the Netherlands. This declined exposure to vaginal breech deliveries (VBD) is a problem for those who still need to be trained. The aim of this study was to evaluate the level of training of the Dutch gynecological residents, and their intentions on guiding VBDs during their careers.

Study design: Via an online questionnaire Dutch residents and starting gynecologists, were asked about their training, exposure and confidence in guiding VBDs during their residency.

Main outcome measures: Number of VBDs performed, level of entrustment of independent practice in guiding VBDs, courses in guiding VBDs, confidence in guiding VBDs after finishing their residency.

Results: The response rate was 64% (N = 294). Thirteen per cent performed less than three VBDs, 15% more than 15. Of sixth year residents 65% has not yet obtained entrustment for personally guiding VBDs. The residents are trained in VBDs at least once during a national mandatory course. Further training is strongly dependent on local hospital policy: 34% are trained every quarter versus 29% who never receive a local training.

Conclusion: Our survey showed that more than half of the respondents judge the current residency program to be insufficient for guiding VBDs. This seems to be related to the low overall exposure to VBDs and the lack of quantity and quality of attended courses.

Keywords: Education; Residency; Vaginal breech delivery.

MeSH terms

  • Breech Presentation*
  • Delivery, Obstetric*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Internship and Residency / standards
  • Internship and Residency / statistics & numerical data*
  • Obstetrics / standards
  • Obstetrics / statistics & numerical data*
  • Pregnancy
  • Surveys and Questionnaires