Objective: To determine whether a decreased incidence of nonreactive nonstress tests (NSTs) in antepartum testing was attributable to the addition of fetal movement detection to the standard NST.
Methods: Monitors with standard fetal heart rate recording capabilities were used, as were new monitors producing a Doppler-detected recording of fetal movement (NST-fetal movement). Cross-sectional retrospective analysis of NST results was carried out by chi 2.
Results: Comparison of the 10-month period before fetal movement detection to the 10 months including NST-fetal movement monitoring showed a significant decrease in nonreactive NSTs from 5.7% to 3.3% (chi 2 = 61.7, 95% confidence interval [CI] 0.97-0.98). This reduction in nonreactive tests disappeared (3.3% to 5.1%) when the NST-fetal movement-capable monitors were no longer available (chi 2 = 24.2, 95% CI 1.01-1.03).
Conclusions: Nonreactive NSTs decreased by 58% with the introduction of fetal movement monitoring in our antepartum testing center and increased when the NST-fetal movement-capable monitors were removed. A reduced incidence of nonreactive NSTs associated with NST-Doppler-detected fetal movements should effect a savings in both time and resources.