Cluett, Elizabeth R., Pickering, Ruth M. and Brooking, Julia I.
An investigation into the feasibility of comparing three management options (augmentation, conservative and water) for nulliparae with dystocia in the first stage of labour
Midwifery, 17, (1), . (doi:10.1054/midw.2000.0233).
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Objective: to evaluate the feasibility of a randomised controlled trial (RCT) examining the effect of three options (augmentation, conservative and water) for the management of dystocia in nulliparae. The main objectives were to explore the feasibility of trial procedures in the clinical environment, consent rates and acceptability of the management options to women, local incidence of dystocia in nulliparae and the size of the subsequent study.
Design: a two part study: a pilot, RCT with follow-up through to delivery with postnatal maternal surveys, and a case review of nulliparae with dystocia.
Setting: a large maternity unit in the South of England in May–July 1997 inclusive.
Participants: nulliparae with dystocia in the first stage of labour who had an otherwise uncomplicated obstetric background.
Interventions: women in the pilot RCT received one of three management options: labouring in a waterbirth pool, conservative management or augmentation of labour, which is the standard management of women with dystocia condition in the Unit.
Findings: it is feasible to conduct an RCT of management of dystocia in the Unit. Seventy per cent (95% confidence interval 47% to 87%) of women approached agreed to participate. Conservative management was the least acceptable option to women and has been dropped from the subsequent trial. The audit provided some idea of possible differences in operative delivery and epidural rates depending on augmentation or not. A sample of 220 women should be large enough to detect moderate changes and will require a 2-year recruitment period.
Conclusions: a subsequent trial is feasible and is now underway. It has the potential to provide information enabling women and practitioners to have a greater choice of care options in the presence of dystocia, or provide a good basis for an even larger trial.
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