Summary: This study was designed to investigate the possible benefits, in terms of obstetric and neonatal outcome, of a prolonged augmentation period with oxytocin in patients with dysfunctional first stage of labour. The majority of patients (65.5% of nulliparas and 83.8% of multiparas) responded with satisfactory progress within the first 4 hours of augmentation and the Caesarean section rate was low in this group (1.3%). In those with unsatisfactory progress during the first 4 hours of augmentation a further 4 hour period of augmentation resulted in vaginal delivery for 50.7% of nulliparas with primary dysfunctional labour and 33.3% of those with secondary arrest in labour.