Is there unwarranted variation in obstetric practice in Australia? Obstetric intervention trends in Queensland hospitals

Fox, Haylee, Callander, Emily, Lindsay, Daniel, and Topp, Stephanie M. (2021) Is there unwarranted variation in obstetric practice in Australia? Obstetric intervention trends in Queensland hospitals. Australian Health Review, 45. pp. 157-166.

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Objective: The aim of this study was to report on the rates of obstetric interventions within each hospital jurisdiction in the state of Queensland, Australia.

Methods: This project used a whole-of-population linked dataset that included the health and cost data of all mothers who gave birth in Queensland, Australia, between 2012 and 2015 (n = 186 789), plus their babies (n = 189 909). Adjusted and unadjusted rates of obstetric interventions and non-instrumental vaginal delivery were reported within each hospital jurisdiction in Queensland.

Results: High rates of obstetric intervention exist in both the private and public sectors, with higher rates demonstrated in the private than public sector. Within the public sector, there is substantial variation in rates of intervention between hospital and health service jurisdictions after adjusting for confounding variables that influence the need for obstetric intervention.

Conclusions: Due to the high rates of obstetric interventions statewide, a deeper understanding is needed of what factors may be driving these high rates at the health service level, with a focus on the clinical necessity of the provision of Caesarean sections.

Item ID: 66013
Item Type: Article (Research - C1)
ISSN: 1449-8944
Related URLs:
Copyright Information: © AHHA 2021
Additional Information:

A version of this publication was included as Chapter 5 of the following PhD thesis: Fox, Haylee (2021) Medicalised childbirth: variation in care and drivers of maternal health service provision in Queensland, Australia. PhD thesis, James Cook University, which is available Open Access in ResearchOnline@JCU. Please see the Related URLs for access.

Date Deposited: 20 Jun 2021 23:41
FoR Codes: 42 HEALTH SCIENCES > 4202 Epidemiology > 420299 Epidemiology not elsewhere classified @ 30%
42 HEALTH SCIENCES > 4203 Health services and systems > 420311 Health systems @ 40%
32 BIOMEDICAL AND CLINICAL SCIENCES > 3215 Reproductive medicine > 321599 Reproductive medicine not elsewhere classified @ 30%
SEO Codes: 20 HEALTH > 2002 Evaluation of health and support services > 200206 Health system performance (incl. effectiveness of programs) @ 50%
20 HEALTH > 2001 Clinical health > 200199 Clinical health not elsewhere classified @ 0%
20 HEALTH > 2005 Specific population health (excl. Indigenous health) > 200509 Women's and maternal health @ 50%
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