Mothers' Views of Continuous Electronic Fetal Heart Monitoring and Intermittent Auscultation in a Randomized Controlled Trial
Article first published online: 31 MAR 2007
Volume 12, Issue 2, pages 79–85, June 1985
How to Cite
Garcia, J., Corry, M., MacDonald, D., Elbourne, D. and Grant, A. (1985), Mothers' Views of Continuous Electronic Fetal Heart Monitoring and Intermittent Auscultation in a Randomized Controlled Trial. Birth, 12: 79–85. doi: 10.1111/j.1523-536X.1985.tb00943.x
- Issue published online: 31 MAR 2007
- Article first published online: 31 MAR 2007
ABSTRACT: We report the views of 200 women interviewed as part of a large randomized controlled trial in a Dublin hospital to compare a policy of continuous intrapartum fetal heart rate monitoring (EFM) with an alternative policy of intermittent auscultation using a Pinard stethoscope (IA). More women allocated to EFM reported that they felt restricted in their movements than did those allocated to IA. On the other hand, we found no evidence that the method of monitoring either influenced the support that they said they experienced or provided significant reassurance or made them feel more or less in control. There is a suggestion that women monitored with EFM were more likely to be left alone for short periods.
This study suggests that the method of monitoring was less important to women in this hospital than the support and reassurance they received from staff and companions. Personal and continuous care from a midwife for all women in labor is a key feature of the hospital's policy and our study suggests that, in general, this policy was successfully translated into both IA and EFM practice, although the association between the use of EFM and an increase in women being left alone for short periods indicates a need for caution.