A critique of the literature on women's request for cesarean section

Gamble, Jenny, Creedy, Debra K., McCourt, Chris, Weaver, Jane and Beake, Sarah (2007) A critique of the literature on women's request for cesarean section. Birth, 34 4: 331-340. doi:10.1111/j.1523-536X.2007.00193.x

Author Gamble, Jenny
Creedy, Debra K.
McCourt, Chris
Weaver, Jane
Beake, Sarah
Title A critique of the literature on women's request for cesarean section
Journal name Birth   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 0730-7659
Publication date 2007-12
Sub-type Article (original research)
DOI 10.1111/j.1523-536X.2007.00193.x
Volume 34
Issue 4
Start page 331
End page 340
Total pages 10
Place of publication Hoboken, NJ, United States
Publisher Wiley-Blackwell Publishing
Language eng
Formatted abstract
The influence of women's birth preferences on the rising cesarean section rates is uncertain and possibly changing. This review of publications relating to women's request for cesarean delivery explores assumptions related to the social, cultural, and political-economic contexts of maternity care and decision making.

A search of major databases was undertaken using the following terms: "c(a)esarean section" with "maternal request," "decision-making," "patient participation," "decision-making-patient," "patient satisfaction," "patient preference," "maternal choice," "on demand," and "consumer demand." Seventeen papers examining women's preferred type of birth were retrieved.

No studies systematically examined information provided to women by health professionals to inform their decision. Some studies did not adequately acknowledge the influence of obstetric and psychological factors in relation to women's request for a cesarean section. Other potential influences were poorly addressed, including whether or not the doctor advised a vaginal birth, women's access to midwifery care in pregnancy, information provision, quality of care, and cultural issues.

The psychosocial context of obstetric care reveals a power imbalance in favor of physicians. Research into decision making about cesarean section that does not account for the way care is offered, observe interactions between women and practitioners, and analyze the context of care should be interpreted with caution.
Keyword Cesarean section
Decision making
Q-Index Code C1
Q-Index Status Provisional Code
Institutional Status Non-UQ

Document type: Journal Article
Sub-type: Article (original research)
Collections: ERA 2012 Admin Only
School of Psychology Publications
Version Filter Type
Citation counts: TR Web of Science Citation Count  Cited 48 times in Thomson Reuters Web of Science Article | Citations
Scopus Citation Count Cited 54 times in Scopus Article | Citations
Google Scholar Search Google Scholar
Created: Sun, 15 Jan 2012, 13:11:33 EST by System User on behalf of School of Psychology