Clinical Impact of a Restrictive Labor Induction Approval Process

Gynecol Obstet Invest. 2019;84(2):166-173. doi: 10.1159/000491084. Epub 2018 Oct 12.


Background/aims: The aim of this study was to evaluate the impact of a restrictive labor induction approval process on induction and primary cesarean delivery rates.

Methods: A retrospective cohort study was conducted at a tertiary care academic center from 2006 through 2012. The cohort of deliveries before (pre-intervention) and after (post-intervention) the process included term, singleton pregnancies with no contraindication to vaginal delivery. The primary outcome was induction of labor rates, subgrouped on the basis of whether it was medically or nonmedically indicated. Secondary outcomes included the primary cesarean rate and other maternal and neonatal outcomes.

Results: Of 13,753 deliveries, 6,746 met study inclusion criteria. There was a significant decrease in induction rates comparing the pre- and post-intervention periods (21.0 vs. 18.5%, p = 0.01). Nonmedically indicated induction rates also decreased significantly (2.9 vs. 0.6%, p < 0.001). No difference was observed in medically indicated induction (18.1 vs. 17.9%, p = 0.84), the primary cesarean rate (14.4 vs. 15.8%, p = 0.12), or any of the measured neonatal outcomes (p > 0.05).

Conclusions: Implementation of a labor induction approval process was associated with a significant reduction in overall and non-indicated induction rates but did not affect the primary cesarean rate or neonatal outcomes.

Keywords: Cesarean delivery; Elective delivery; Induction of labor; Nonmedically indicated delivery.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Cesarean Section / statistics & numerical data
  • Cohort Studies
  • Delivery, Obstetric / methods*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Infant, Newborn
  • Labor, Induced / statistics & numerical data*
  • Labor, Obstetric
  • Pregnancy
  • Pregnancy Outcome
  • Retrospective Studies