Perceived influences on low risk women's decision making regarding induction of labour


Perceived influences on low risk women's decision making regarding induction of labour. The aim of this study was to investigate low risk women's, and midwife's, perceptions of the influences that impact on the women's decision making in regard to induction of labour. The study is set in the context of growing disquiet regarding rising rates of induction of labour in Western Australia. Non-medical inductions are continuing to rise with an increasing demand by women for what is colloquially termed by health professionals as “social induction’. To achieve this aim a naturalistic paradigm incorporating an ethnographic case study design has been used. Feminist and anthropological influences have assisted in the development of the theoretical framework which has driven the woman centred approach. The study was conducted in two phases, during the period 2007–2010. In phase one purposeful sampling of low risk women (n=18) occurred following informed consent. In phase two convenience sampling was used for the selection of midwife participants (n=10). Multiple data collection methods were used including interview and questionnaire. Documentary evidence was also collected from the woman's case notes, the birth register, the booking diary and clinical indicators relating to the reason for induction of labour. Thematic analysis was used to analyse the data resulting in the emergence of six major themes. The influence of friends and family support; thoughts and feelings of isolation; perceived ownership of the decision making; inadequate information, multiple discomfort during pregnancy and perceived medical reasons for induction of labour will be presented. Findings will inform health care professionals and low risk women of the influences which may impact on their decision making. It is hoped this will assist midwives to recognise women ‘at risk’ of requesting an induction of labour for social reasons, and facilitate the development of guidelines relating to the support required by these women.


Peer-reviewed, Abstract only


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The Author:

Ms Jennifer Wrightson



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