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Eur J Obstet Gynecol Reprod Biol. 1985 Jul;20(1):43-51.

Maternal attitudes to fetal monitoring.


During a randomized clinical trial concerning alternative methods of intrapartum fetal surveillance (electronic fetal monitoring (EFM) and auscultation (AUS)) an investigatory interview was carried out. Out of 655 expecting mothers the antepartum preference of EFM was 39.5%, of AUS 32.3% and 28.1% were undecided (UD). EFM was especially preferred by obstetrical high-risk patients. Reasons for preference of AUS were a natural childbirth, a non-technological milieu, and the lack of supposed discomfort from sensors and belts. The pregnant women found as major advantages of EFM continuous observation and the possibility of quick intervention. Postpartum 385 patients were again interviewed. The majority upheld the original preference if that method was used. If the non-preferred method had been applied many would stick to the primary preference although a tendency to prefer the experienced method was seen. The patients who antepartum preferred AUS, but had EFM, became more positive toward the method, and a significantly increased number were positively influenced by the EFM signal/trace and found the method promoting their partner's involvement in labor. Enforced immobility, however, was a major disadvantage as well as the technical milieu. If EFM is to be accepted by a majority of women giving birth it is necessary to increase the pregnant women's knowledge of the method and to take milieu factors into consideration in order to reduce the intrinsic depersonalization of EFM.

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