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Care in Labor: A Swedish Survey Using the Bologna Score


  • Ann-Kristin Sandin-Bojö RN, RM, PhD,

    Corresponding author
    1. Ann-Kristin Sandin-Bojö is a Senior Lecturer in the Division for Health and Caring Sciences at Karlstad University, Karlstad
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  • Linda J. Kvist RN, RM, PhD

    1. Linda J. Kvist is a Care Development Manager in the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology at Helsingborg Hospital, Helsingborg, Sweden.
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  • This study received support from the Council of Värmland, Karlstad, Sweden.

Ann-Kristin Sandin-Bojö, Division for Health and Caring Sciences, Karlstad University, SE 651 88 Karlstad, Sweden


ABSTRACT: Background: An important part of midwives’ area of responsibility is to strive to keep birth normal. Interventions during childbirth are costly and may disrupt the course of normal labor. The aim of this study was to describe, by use of the Bologna Score, how birth is managed in Sweden. Methods: A prospective cross-sectional study in a national sample was performed. All (n = 51) Swedish maternity units were invited to participate and 36 (70.6%) agreed. Midwives collected data, in accordance with the Bologna Score, for all deliveries occurring during a 2-week period in 2007. Results:Qualified health personnel assisted at almost all deliveries (99.9%), and a vaginal birth was planned for 84 percent of the women. A Bologna Score of 5 signifies that birth has been managed using recommended evidence-based practice, which was achieved for 22.7 percent of the planned vaginal births. Use of the supine position and some interventions were responsible for loss of points. The percentage of 5-point scores varied greatly among units (0–53.1%). Conclusions: The findings suggest that in Sweden, birth is managed according to scientific evidence to a limited degree. Large differences among units also suggest that care in childbirth is based on attitudes rather than on scientific evidence. The Bologna Score was easy to use and gave a good picture of how care was given at the participating maternity units. We suggest that the instrument is useful as a quality indicator for intrapartum care. (BIRTH 35:4 December 2008)