Foetal monitoring: A woman-centred decision-making pathway

Journal article


Rattray, Janene, Flowers, Karen, Miles, Sandra and Clarke, Jillian. (2011) Foetal monitoring: A woman-centred decision-making pathway. Women and Birth (print version). 24(2), pp. 65 - 71. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.wombi.2010.08.003
AuthorsRattray, Janene, Flowers, Karen, Miles, Sandra and Clarke, Jillian
Abstract

Problem: Many midwives continue to use continuous foetal monitoring on low risk women in labour, despite evidence based clinical guidelines to the contrary. Continuous foetal monitoring has been linked to increased rates of medical intervention during labour and birth with no improvement in long term neonatal outcomes.

Participants: Midwives who used continuous foetal monitoring on low risk women in labour at two regional Queensland hospitals.

Methods: This Grounded Theory study explored midwives’ decision-making processes related to the use of continuous electronic foetal monitoring on low risk labouring women. Primary data were gathered in semi-structured interviews with five purposively selected midwives and concurrently analysed using Grounded Theory techniques of theoretical sampling and constant comparison.

Findings: The midwives made the decision that led to continuous electronic foetal monitoring on low risk women at two key decision points during labour care; the first during the midwives’ initial assessment of the woman and foetus, and the second when the midwives categorised the women as high or low risk. However, various factors impacted on these decisions including trust and staff workloads within a context of risk management and medical dominance. There was limited opportunity for women to be involved in the decision-making process about foetal monitoring and only partial information was provided prior to cardiotocography.

Conclusions: Consistent with current clinical guidelines which recommend open, consultative discussion with the woman about foetal monitoring and a partnership approach towards decision-making following informed choice, a woman-centred foetal monitoring decision-making pathway is proposed. This pathway is applicable in midwifery education, research and clinical practice to promote both evidence based practice and woman-centred decision-making.

Year2011
JournalWomen and Birth (print version)
Journal citation24 (2), pp. 65 - 71
ISSN1871-5192
Digital Object Identifier (DOI)https://doi.org/10.1016/j.wombi.2010.08.003
Page range65 - 71
Research GroupSchool of Nursing, Midwifery and Paramedicine
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