Sue’s first baby was born by emergency caesarean. In her next pregnancy she took part in a trial looking at different types of information and decision aids about birth choices for women who had already had one caesarean. She was pleased to be involved.
Sue’s first baby was born by emergency caesarean. She always felt a bit as though she had failed by not having a vaginal delivery and would have liked to know more about why she had to have a caesarean.
In her next pregnancy, when she was about 14 weeks pregnant, the midwife at one of her antenatal appointments could not hear the baby’s heartbeat so sent her for a scan. The scan showed the baby was fine, but while she was there she was invited to take part in a trial investigating different types of information and computerised decision aids about whether to have another caesarean, and comparing these with normal information. Sue agreed to take part and was allocated to one of the groups receiving an extra intervention. A researcher came to visit her at home, asked her some survey questions and showed her how to use the computerised information. She had to answer further questions later on about how easy she had found it to use the information and what effect it had on her decision.
Sue was pleased to be given the extra information and found it really helped her feel confident in her decision to have another caesarean. When she had another hospital appointment, the doctor she saw tried to persuade her to change her mind and have a vaginal delivery, but Sue went back to the computerised information and used it to help her make up her mind again that she really did want a caesarean.
Her view of randomisation is that it is necessary to ensure that all different types of people are included in each group, and it is not biased towards people from a particular area or income group, for example. Although she was pleased to be given the extra information, she would have carried on with the trial even if she had been allocated to the normalinformation group, as she thinks it is only by doing research that we can learn. The results of the trial showed the interventions helped people to feel more satisfied with their decisions, and that would still have been helpful to other women in future even if Sue herself did not have the extra information.
She feels the trial was an important project on a subject that women really care about. She would like to see more research into miscarriage.
(You can see more about experiences of taking part in this trial on the Healthtalkonline website on Making decisions about birth after caesarean)