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When should women be recruited to intrapartum research projects? A retrospective review

Authors

  • Hala Phipps,

    Corresponding author
    1. Faculty of Medicine, Obstetrics, Gynaecology and Neonatology, University of Sydney, Sydney, New South Wales, Australia
    • RPA Women and Babies, Royal Prince Alfred Hospital, Sydney, New South Wales, Australia
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  • Bradley de Vries,

    1. RPA Women and Babies, Royal Prince Alfred Hospital, Sydney, New South Wales, Australia
    2. Faculty of Medicine, Obstetrics, Gynaecology and Neonatology, University of Sydney, Sydney, New South Wales, Australia
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  • Sabrina Kuah,

    1. Women's and Children's Hospital, Adelaide, South Australia, Australia
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  • Jon A. Hyett

    1. RPA Women and Babies, Royal Prince Alfred Hospital, Sydney, New South Wales, Australia
    2. Faculty of Medicine, Obstetrics, Gynaecology and Neonatology, University of Sydney, Sydney, New South Wales, Australia
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  • The authors have stated explicitly that there are no conflicts of interest in connection with this article.

Correspondence

Hala Phipps, Discipline of Obstetrics, Gynaecology and Neonatology, RPA Women and Babies, Royal Prince Alfred Hospital, Sydney, New South Wales 2050, Australia. E-mail: hala.phipps@email.cs.nsw.gov.au

Abstract

Objective

To review and describe the impact of varied recruitment processes in two intrapartum studies.

Design

Retrospective review of one prospective cohort study and one pilot randomized controlled trial.

Setting

Australian tertiary referral hospital.

Population

Women with term, cephalic singleton pregnancies.

Methods

Recruitment processes in one observational and one interventional study examining the management of occipitoposterior position in labor were reviewed. Data concerning recruitment and serial attrition for these studies were collected. The value of allowing consent in early labor in addition to consent in the antenatal period was assessed.

Main outcome measure

Relative proportions of women participating compared with the numbers approached and recruited.

Results

One in 48 women approached about the observational study agreed to participate and then had a fetus in occipitoposterior position. One in 33 women in the intervention study were eventually randomized. Women approached in early labor were more likely to agree to participate (77% vs. 58%; p < 0.0001), more likely to have an ultrasound scan during labor (40% vs. 15%; p < 0.0001) and more likely to be randomized to intervention (4% vs. 1.5%; p = 0.02).

Conclusion

Intrapartum research is associated with low rates of recruitment and these rates may be improved by asking women to provide informed consent during labor rather than the antenatal period. It is important to consider ways to facilitate randomized controlled trials involving women in labor to advance evidence-based care in this environment. This should include prospective research that seeks to define the best approach to patient recruitment.

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