AsianScientist (Oct. 19, 2018) – In a study published in PLOS Medicine, scientists have found that the fear of pain and belief that cesarean sections are safer have led more pregnant women in mainland China, Hong Kong and Taiwan to choose cesarean section delivery.
The cesarean section rate in mainland China, Hong Kong and Taiwan has been estimated at 30 percent. This is high compared to the global average of around 19 percent. To understand why women in these territories prefer cesarean sections, researchers led by Professor Long Qian of Duke Kunshan University in China examined a variety of databases for research studies containing terms such as ‘cesarean section’ and ‘health professionals-patient relations’ between 1990 and 2018.
They reported that fear of pain, antagonistic relations with providers and beliefs of deteriorating quality of care during labor and vaginal birth contributed to the strong preference of planned cesarean section for delivery. Furthermore, the researchers found that 14 percent of women in early or middle pregnancy and 21 percent of women in late pregnancy opted for cesarean section. Women’s preference for cesarean section in was found to rise as pregnancy progressed.
However, the researchers highlighted some limitations of their study, including heterogeneity and potential biases among the reports reviewed, which were not population-representative.
“The rate of unnecessary cesarean sections—those performed in the absence of medical indications—is unlikely to be reduced without multifaceted strategies targeting health professionals and healthcare systems, in addition to women,” said the authors.
The article can be found at: Long et al. (2018) Prevalence of and Reasons for Women’s, Family Members’, and Health Professionals’ Preferences for Cesarean Section in China: A Mixed-methods Systematic Review.
Source: PLOS; Photo: Pexels.
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