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Cesarean by choice? Empirical study of public attitudes.
Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Clinical Sciences, Obstetrics and Gynaecology. Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Public Health and Clinical Medicine.
Centre for Bioethics, Karolinska Institutet, Stockholm, Sweden.
Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Clinical Sciences, Obstetrics and Gynaecology.
2008 (English)In: Acta Obstetricia et Gynecologica Scandinavica, ISSN 0001-6349, E-ISSN 1600-0412, Vol. 87, no 12, 1301-1308 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

OBJECTIVE: This study examines public attitudes towards maternal requests for cesarean delivery and its association with health care and birth experiences. In addition, this study attempts to ascertain whether gender, age and residence influence these attitudes. DESIGN: Cross-sectional population survey with a postal questionnaire. SETTING: The counties of Stockholm and Vasterbotten in Sweden. POPULATION: Equal numbers of women and men between 20 and 80 years of age (n=2,000) by population size and gender distribution. METHODS: Descriptive statistics and content analysis. RESULTS: Of the 1,066 women (53%) who responded, two-thirds stated that a cesarean should be decided on for medical reasons and by a doctor. One-third considered that a woman, without persuasion, should decide herself about mode of delivery and should be free to choose a cesarean. These respondents used arguments such as women's rights, bodily integrity and childbirth fear. The results were associated with low trust in health care, women being young or middle aged, urban living and having no children. Low trust in health care was associated with experiences of insecurity, vulnerability and perceived maltreatment. CONCLUSION: Public norms towards women's own decision making on mode of delivery are associated with younger age, lower trust in health care and urban living. Antenatal care will encounter more parents asking for a cesarean and demanding that health professionals provide an ethically appropriate informed consent process. Considering the risk of violating young women's trust if not respecting her wish, it seems reasonable that making decisions whether or not to perform a cesarean is part of shared decision making.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2008. Vol. 87, no 12, 1301-1308 p.
Keyword [en]
Cesarean section, ethics, attitude, public opinion, maternal request
National Category
Obstetrics, Gynecology and Reproductive Medicine
Research subject
Obstetrics and Gynaecology
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-36842DOI: 10.1080/00016340802482978PubMedID: 18972235OAI: oai:DiVA.org:umu-36842DiVA: diva2:356452
Available from: 2010-10-12 Created: 2010-10-12 Last updated: 2017-12-12Bibliographically approved

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