Home Archive Vol.41, No.4, 2015 Acceptability of Intrapartum Ultrasound Monitoring- Experience from a Romanian Longitudinal Study

Acceptability of Intrapartum Ultrasound Monitoring- Experience from a Romanian Longitudinal Study

D.G. Iliescu(1), Stefania Tudorache(1), Monica-Laura Cara(1), Roxana Drăguşin(2), O. Carbunaru(2), Maria Florea(1), C. Patru(1), L. Zorila(1), NICOLETA ALICE DRĂGOESCU(3), LILIANA NOVAC(1), N. Cernea(1)

(1)Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Prenatal Diagnostic Unit, University of Medicine and Pharmacy of Craiova, University Emergency County Hospital Craiova, Romania, (2)Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Prenatal Diagnostic Unit, University Emergency County Hospital Craiova, Romania, (3)Department of Anesthesiology and Intensive Care, University of Medicine and Pharmacy of Craiova, University Emergency County Hospital Craiova, Romania

    Abstract: Objectives: To assess the acceptability of intrapartum ultrasound (IPUS) labor monitoring in unselected Romanian women attending a tertiary maternity unit and the patients’ experience of the examination (i.e. the perceived difficulty regarding the evaluation protocol). Methods: The research was a prospective longitudinal observational study on unselected low-risk women that delivered in our unit. IPUS monitoring of active labor was proposed for observational purposes in low-risk population. Transabdominal and transperineal scans were performed hourly in the first stage of labor and at every 15 minutes in the second stage. The second day after birth, consenting women were invited to take part in a questionnaire survey with features regarding the patient’s impression about the ultrasound monitoring scans during labor, and the acceptability of having an IPUS protocol for labor monitoring in the future. Results: From 200 parturient women questioned, 98% of them agreed to IPUS investigation protocol. The demographic characteristics did not influence the acceptance. However, due to the small number of women declining IPUS we were not able to compare the characteristics and perceptions of women who declined the scan with those who accepted it. Most of the women (93% of accepters and 75% of decliners) had little difficulty deciding whether or not to have the scan protocol. All laboring women who had the IPUS scan found it an acceptable experience; 21% of women without epidural anesthesia rated the perceived difficulty as “mild” or “discomforting”. Women rated having the IPUS scan as being significantly less difficult than having a cervical smear, transvaginal scan or having a digital clinical evaluation. 67% of the studied patients expressed increased confidence while being able to follow along the medical personnel the progression of the labor on the ultrasound screen. 97% of the consenting women who had the IPUS scans and all the 4 decliners said they would definitely or probably agree such ultrasound monitoring in a future labor, if this technique is proven useful for the labor outcome. Conclusions: IPUS protocol for labor monitoring was overwhelmingly acceptable in our population of women, despite the fact that they were learning about the procedure for the first time. The demographic characteristics did not influence acceptance, but due to the high rate of acceptance, predictors of acceptance could not be analyzed. More than two thirds of the patients expressed increased confidence while being able to follow along the medical personnel the progression of the labor on the ultrasound screen and almost all the participants were willing to have the procedure again in future, further reinforcing their favorable attitude to the procedure.
    Keywords: intrapartum ultrasound, labor, maternal fetal medicine, transperineal ultrasound

DOI 10.12865/CHSJ.41.04.10


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Volume 41 Issue 4 2015