Wednesday, March 29, 2006

Update from Childbirth Connection

In a previous post, I provided some information from Childbirth Connection's survey of women regarding childbirth experiences, and expressed a couple of questions about the results. The organization's Director of Programs, Carol Sakala, responded very promptly via email with some additional detail.

Survey Finding: "Close to half of survey participants (42% to 45%) were 'not sure' about how to reply to four statements about complications of cesareans, and 21% to 33% responded incorrectly."
Question: It's not clear whether these results are only among the women who had c-sections, which would make a difference in the interpretation of the results.
Response: "Thusfar, we have just released the intial 'topline' results. We will be looking at and comparing different subgroups in future reports. It is accurate to say that there were notable overall concerns with knowledge about adverse effects of cesarean section, as well as notable concerns among women who had had cesareans."

Survey Finding:"Just 12% of women with a previous cesarean had a VBAC. Of the remaining women who had a repeat cesarean, 45% were interested in the option of VBAC, but more than half (56%) of them were denied this option, primarily because their caregiver (45%) or hospital (23%) was unwilling to do a VBAC."
Question: It's not clear how many of these women should legitimately have been denied VBAC, which makes a difference in what these results mean as well.
Response: "We did get the mothers' assessment about whether this action was medically appropriate. The question that was asked of women who said they hadn't had the option of VBAC was: 'What was the reason that you didn't have the option of a vaginal birth after cesarean (or VBAC)? Please select all that apply' and one of the choices was 'A medical reason for this cesarean not related to my prior cesarean' (selected by 13% of respondents)."

Look for more detailed results from this study later this year. I'll provide a more thorough review of the Childbirth Connection website later today. Big thanks to Carol for responding to my questions so quickly.

For those of you keeping score at home: It was very easy to get a quick response from Childbirth Connections regarding my questions. By comparison, getting answers about HB3199 & SB3402 from sponsors Nathan Vaughn and Rusty Crowe has been impossible. At the advice of my local rep, I emailed these two with my questions, first on Feb 21, then again later after not receiving a response. On March 19, I contacted my rep again to ask if he could facilitate an answer, and he promptly forwarded my message to the sponsors and asked for a response. I still have not received a reply from Vaughn or Crowe, after more than a month of trying. I realize that at this stage I should start making phone calls, but c'mon, over a month to respond to a few questions about a bill that you sponsored?

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MeSH Tags: Abortion, Induces/legislation and jurisprudence; Cesarean Section/statistics and numerical data; Cesarean Section, Repeat/statistics and numerical data; Vaginal Birth After Cesarean

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