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ABSTRACT

This study examined the use of selected medical procedures in low-risk women during childbirth. Data from the 1980 National Natality Survey merged with an American Hospital Association annual survey for the same year were used to assess the frequency with which low-risk women in the United States received certain childbirth procedures and to determine whether their use varied by the hospital setting for birth. Stratified analysis was used to assess the relation of hospital level for delivery with the use of electronic fetal monitoring, labor induction, and primary cesarean delivery in low-risk women, with control for potential confounding factors. As the level of available perinatal technology increased, the use of these procedures increased. Results of the study suggest that low-risk women may have received excess interventions and confirm the need for further examination of care procedures for this group.