Objectives To evaluate the effectiveness of a decision aid for women with a breech presentation compared with usual care.
Design Randomised controlled trial.
Setting Tertiary obstetric hospitals offering external cephalic version (ECV).
Population Women with a singleton pregnancy were diagnosed antenatally with a breech presentation at term, and were clinically eligible for ECV.
Methods Women were randomised to either receive a decision aid about the management options for breech presentation in addition to usual care or to receive usual care only with standard counselling from their usual pregnancy care provider. The decision aid comprised a 24-page booklet supplemented by a 30-minute audio-CD and worksheet that was designed for women to take home and review with a partner.
Main outcome measures Decisional conflict (uncertainty), knowledge, anxiety and satisfaction with decision making, and were assessed using self-administered questionnaires.
Results Compared with usual care, women reviewing the decision aid experienced significantly lower decisional conflict (mean difference −8.92; 95% CI −13.18, −4.66) and increased knowledge (mean difference 8.40; 95% CI 3.10, 13.71), were more likely to feel that they had enough information to make a decision (RR 1.30; 95% CI 1.14, 1.47), had no increase in anxiety and reported greater satisfaction with decision making and overall experience of pregnancy and childbirth. In contrast, 19% of women in the usual care group reported they would have made a different decision about their care.
Conclusions A decision aid is an effective and acceptable tool for pregnant women that provides an important adjunct to standard counselling for the management of breech presentation.