Increasing Patient Understanding of Operative Vaginal Delivery [4F]

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Nationally, about 3.5% of vaginal deliveries require the assistance of an operative vaginal delivery (OVD). This study is undertaken to assess patients' understanding of OVD, when it is necessary, and how it can affect the mother or baby, and determine if providing an informational pamphlet on OVD will increase patient knowledge.


In this IRB-exempt randomized control trial, pregnant patients from a single academic center completed a survey on OVD based on principles from Bloom's Taxonomy. The intervention group read a pamphlet describing OVD prior to completing the survey. The control group completed the survey without any additional education. The responses were scored and analyzed with chi square and t tests to determine whether the pamphlet improved patient understanding about OVD.


21 patients were randomized to both the control and intervention group. The groups had no demographic differences regarding race, relationship status or education level. The intervention group had a greater number of correct responses to the question regarding forceps risks (P=.006). No other differences were noted in knowledge responses. The mean knowledge score for the intervention group was 4.24/7 and for the control group was 3.43/7, which was not significant (P=.182).


The results conclude that this pamphlet did not improve knowledge regarding OVD. The strength is that this is a sufficiently powered randomized controlled trial. The weakness is not being able to gauge how closely patients read the pamphlet. A future direction could be to supplement the pamphlet with verbal or video support to improve knowledge on this important topic.

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