A Critique of the Literature on Women's Request for Cesarean Section

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Title A Critique of the Literature on Women's Request for Cesarean Section
Author Gamble, Jennifer Ann; Creedy, Debra; McCourt, Chris; Weaver, Jane; Beake, Sarah
Journal Name Birth
Editor Diony Young
Year Published 2007
Place of publication United States
Publisher Blackwell Publishing Inc
Abstract Background: The influence of women’s birth preferences on the rising cesarean section rates is uncertain and possibly changing. This review of publications relating to women’s request for cesarean delivery explores assumptions related to the social, cultural, and political-economic contexts of maternity care and decision making. Method: A search of major databases was undertaken using the following terms: “c(a)esarean section” with “maternal request,”“decision-making,”“patient participation,”“decision-making-patient,”“patient satisfaction,”“patient preference,”“maternal choice,”“on demand,” and “consumer demand.” Seventeen papers examining women’s preferred type of birth were retrieved. Results: No studies systematically examined information provided to women by health professionals to inform their decision. Some studies did not adequately acknowledge the influence of obstetric and psychological factors in relation to women’s request for a cesarean section. Other potential influences were poorly addressed, including whether or not the doctor advised a vaginal birth, women’s access to midwifery care in pregnancy, information provision, quality of care, and cultural issues. Discussion: The psychosocial context of obstetric care reveals a power imbalance in favor of physicians. Research into decision making about cesarean section that does not account for the way care is offered, observe interactions between women and practitioners, and analyze the context of care should be interpreted with caution.
Peer Reviewed Yes
Published Yes
Alternative URI http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/j.1523-536X.2007.00193.x
Volume 34
Issue Number 4
Page from 331
Page to 340
ISSN 0730-7659
Date Accessioned 2008-02-21
Language en_US
Research Centre Centre for Health Practice Innovation; Menzies Health Institute Qld
Faculty Griffith Health Faculty
Subject PRE2009-Health and Community Services
URI http://hdl.handle.net/10072/17555
Publication Type Journal Articles (Refereed Article)
Publication Type Code c1

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