Wednesday, 14 February 2018

Decision-making During Childbirth Study

Interactional Practices of Decision Making During Childbirth in Maternity Units
Clare Jackson, Vicky Land, Lyn Brierley-Jones

Plain English Summary - Background and study aims
Government policy states that women in labour should be involved in decisions about their care and treatment. It is known what is said during labour matters for how women experience birth. However, policy recommendations to staff about how to communicate with women in labour are not based on evidence about what actually happens in birth. This is because most existing research is based on interviewing or surveying women some weeks after birth, so the details of what was said in labour are lost. Research is needed that provides details of actual talk about decisions during labour. The details of talk matter because as other studies of communication in medical settings have shown, even small changes in use of words can make a difference to what happens in healthcare e.g. one study in a GP setting showed that changing from ‘is there anything else?’ to ‘is there something else?’ increased the
number of reported symptoms told to the doctor. The aim of this study is to find out how decisions are reached and communication through the talk that happens between staff, women in labour and their birth partners when giving birth in maternity units. It also aims to provide staff and women with detailed information about the effects of talk during labour in order to inform and empower staff, women and birth partners.

Who can participate?
Women , their birth partners and health care practitioners.

What does the study involve?
Participants who consent to taking part in the study are video or audio recorded during labour and birth. This is to establish how decisions are made during labour and birth. Participants are also asked to complete an ante-natal and a post –natal questionnaire at 35 weeks and 6 weeks post birth respectively to assess the relationship between their expectations before birth, their birth experience and their satisfaction post-birth.

What are the possible benefits and risks of participating?
There are no direct risks or benefits to those taking part in the study.

Where is the study run from?
1. University of York (UK)
2. Calderdale Royal Hospital (UK)
3. Sheffield Royal Hallamshire Hospital (UK)

When is the study starting and how long is it expected to run for?
May 2017 to March 2020

Who is funding the study?
National Institute for Health Research (UK)

Who is the main contact?
1. Professor Ellen Annandale (Scientific)
2. Dr Lyn Brierley-Jones (Public)

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