News Release

Greater presence of family docs, midwives may decrease rates of cesarean birth

Culture that facilitates change: A mixed methods study of hospitals engaged in reducing cesarean deliveries

Peer-Reviewed Publication

American Academy of Family Physicians

Surgical cesarean births can expose new mothers to a range of health complications, including infection, blood clots and hemorrhage. As part of Healthy People 2020 and other maternal health objectives, the state of California exerted pressure to reduce cesarean deliveries, and statewide organizations established quality initiatives in partnership with those goals. In this study, researchers from Stanford University and the University of Chicago examined unit culture and provider mix differences on hospital and delivery units to identify characteristics of units that successfully reduced their cesarean delivery rates. The mixed-methods study surveyed and interviewed labor and delivery teams from 37 California hospitals that were participating sites in the California Maternal Quality Care Collaborative's Supporting Vaginal Birth initiative. Respondents at successful hospitals included more family physicians and midwives, and physicians who had been in practice for less time. The study identified a number of unit culture factors that also predicted success. The authors conclude, "Family medicine, a discipline that strongly identifies itself as valuing patient-centered care and shared decision-making, may be in a unique position to contribute positively to this aspect of culture change on labor and delivery units."


Culture That Facilitates Change: A Mixed Methods Study of Hospitals Engaged in Reducing Cesarean Deliveries

Emily C. White VanGompel, MD, MPH, et al University of Chicago, Pritzker School of Medicine, Department of Family Medicine, Chicago, Illinois

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