Study protocol for reducing childbirth fear: a midwife-led psycho-education intervention

Fenwick, Jennifer, Gamble, Jenny, Creedy, Debra K., Buist, Anne, Turkstra, Erika, Sneddon, Anne, Scuffham, Paul A., Ryding, Elsa L., Jarrett, Vivian and Toohill, Jocelyn (2013) Study protocol for reducing childbirth fear: a midwife-led psycho-education intervention. BMC Pregnancy and Childbirth, 13 190.1-190.9. doi:10.1186/1471-2393-13-190

Author Fenwick, Jennifer
Gamble, Jenny
Creedy, Debra K.
Buist, Anne
Turkstra, Erika
Sneddon, Anne
Scuffham, Paul A.
Ryding, Elsa L.
Jarrett, Vivian
Toohill, Jocelyn
Title Study protocol for reducing childbirth fear: a midwife-led psycho-education intervention
Journal name BMC Pregnancy and Childbirth   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 1471-2393
Publication date 2013-10-01
Sub-type Article (original research)
DOI 10.1186/1471-2393-13-190
Open Access Status DOI
Volume 13
Start page 190.1
End page 190.9
Total pages 9
Place of publication London, United Kingdom
Publisher BioMed Central
Language eng
Formatted abstract
Background: Childbirth fear has received considerable attention in Scandinavian countries, and the United Kingdom, but not in Australia. For first-time mothers, fear is often linked to a perceived lack of control and disbelief in the body's ability to give birth safely, whereas multiparous women may be fearful as a result of previous negative and/or traumatic birth experiences. There have been few well-designed intervention studies that test interventions to address women's childbirth fear, support normal birth, and diminish the possibility of a negative birth experience.

Methods/design: Pregnant women in their second trimester of pregnancy will be recruited and screened from antenatal clinics in Queensland, Australia. Women reporting high childbirth fear will be randomly allocated to the intervention or control group. The psycho-educational intervention is offered by midwives over the telephone at 24 and 34 weeks of pregnancy. The intervention aims to review birth expectations, work through distressing elements of childbirth, discuss strategies to develop support networks, affirm that negative childbirth events can be managed and develop a birth plan. Women in the control group will receive standard care offered by the public funded maternity services in Australia. All women will receive an information booklet on childbirth choices. Data will be collected at recruitment during the second trimester, 36 weeks of pregnancy, and 4-6 weeks after birth.

Discussion: This study aims to test the efficacy of a brief, midwife-led psycho-education counselling (known as BELIEF: Birth Emotions - Looking to Improve Expectant Fear) to reduce women's childbirth fear. 1) Relative to controls, women receiving BELIEF will report lower levels of childbirth fear at term; 2) less decisional conflict; 3) less depressive symptoms; 4) better childbirth self-efficacy; and 5) improved health and obstetric outcomes.
Keyword Pregnancy
Childbirth fear
Midwife-led counselling
Randomised controlled trial
Postnatal depression
Decisional conflict
Q-Index Code C1
Q-Index Status Confirmed Code
Institutional Status UQ

Document type: Journal Article
Sub-type: Article (original research)
Collections: Official 2014 Collection
School of Nursing, Midwifery and Social Work Publications
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Citation counts: TR Web of Science Citation Count  Cited 15 times in Thomson Reuters Web of Science Article | Citations
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