Impact of shared decision-making on women's childbirth preferences: A cluster randomised controlled trial

Midwifery. 2024 Jun:133:103999. doi: 10.1016/j.midw.2024.103999. Epub 2024 Apr 12.

Abstract

Background: Midwives provide counselling for birth plans (BPs) to women during prenatal care; however, the impact of individualised BP counselling interventions based on shared decision-making (SDM) regarding women's preferences is unknown.

Methods: This randomised cluster trial included four primary healthcare units. Midwives provided BP counselling based on SDM to women in the intervention group (IG) during prenatal care along with a handout about evidence-based recommendations. Women in the control group (CG) received standard BP counselling from midwives. The main outcome was preference changes concerning BPs.

Results: A total of 461 (95.5 %) pregnant women received BP counselling (IG, n = 247; CG, n = 214). Women in the IG changed their BP preferences for 13 items compared with those in the CG. These items were: using an unique space during birth (81.1 % vs 51.6 %; p < 0.001), option for light graduation (63 % vs 44.7 %; p < 0.001), listening to music (57.3 % vs 43.6 %; p = 0.006), drinking fluids during labour (84.6 % vs 93.6 %; p = 0.005), continuous monitoring (59 % vs 37.8 %; p < 0.001); desire for natural childbirth (36.6 % vs 25 %; p = 0.014), epidural analgesia (55.1 % vs 43.6 %; p = 0.023); breathing techniques (65.2 % vs 50.5 %; p = 0.003), massage (74.9 % vs 55.3 %; p < 0.001); birthing ball use (81.9 % vs 56.9 %; p < 0.001), spontaneous pushing (49.3 % vs 28.7 %; p < 0.001), choosing birth position (69.6 % vs 41.5 %) and delayed umbilical cord clamping (67.8 % vs 44.1 %; p = 0.001).

Conclusion: SDM counselling, together with a handout about evidence-based recommendations on childbirth and newborn care, produced more changes in women's preferences expressed in the BP than standard counselling.

Keywords: Birth plan; Counselling; Midwife; Share decision-making.

Publication types

  • Randomized Controlled Trial

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Cluster Analysis
  • Counseling / methods
  • Counseling / standards
  • Decision Making, Shared*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Parturition / psychology
  • Patient Preference* / psychology
  • Patient Preference* / statistics & numerical data
  • Pregnancy
  • Prenatal Care / methods
  • Prenatal Care / standards