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Low Risk Females Use Epidural Anesthesia More Often as Compared to High Risk Pregnant Women

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A sampling frame of all the consultant maternity units in Great Britain was obtained from the annual returns to the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynecologist (RCOG).   This list contains the data, which is believed to be almost complete.   The aim was to complete data collection in one year. The sampling frame captured 237 hospitals but the final number of the hospital to be included in the study was 226.  The hospitals with less than 1000 births per annum were excluded from the list.   To get an appropriate number of women to capture all major interventions, a sample size of 4040 women was finalized.   It was decided to collect information from 40 women from each hospital to complete the data collection at an appropriate time without putting the extra burden on the hospitals.   For this purpose, 101 hospitals were randomly selected from the sampling frame and from each hospital at least 40 consecutive cases of delivery were proposed to be selected for further work on data collection.

So there were a total of 4040 (101*40=4040) pregnant women. All the pregnant women entered into the study at the onset of the labor if they were delivering in hospital after an uneventful antenatal period, at 37> = weeks of pregnancy and with the fetal head presenting.

This study was conducted during February 1993 through January 1994. To maintain the quality of data collection, the principal investigator checked completed questionnaires daily.   Any missing and inconsistent information in the questionnaires or any other problem during the process of data collection was discussed with the data collectors and remediable solutions sought.   Final editing was done after the completion of the whole process of data collection.

EPI INFO version 6.04 (8) was used for the double entry of the data from questionnaires and analysis was performed in SPSS software version 14.0  We took the variable of the type of delivery with three categories as the main point of focus.   We planned to look for the associated factors especially interventions with the normal delivery.   For this purpose first, we recorded the variable of the type of delivery into a dichotomous variable and ran the analysis.

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