Women's Evaluations of Their Experience in a Multicenter Randomized Controlled Trial of Intrapartum Fetal Pulse Oximetry (The FOREMOST Trial) Academic Article uri icon


  • BACKGROUND: Fetal pulse oximetry improves the assessment of fetal well-being during labor. The objective of this study was to evaluate women's satisfaction with their experience with this additional technology. METHODS: We surveyed women participating in the FOREMOST trial, a randomized controlled trial comparing the addition of fetal pulse oximetry (FPO) to conventional cardiotocograph (CTG) monitoring (intervention group), versus CTG-only (control group), in the presence of nonreassuring fetal status during labor. Our survey evaluated 3 aspects of women's experience: labor, fetal monitoring, and participation in the research. The survey was administered within a few days of giving birth and repeated 3 months later. RESULTS: No differences were found between the intervention and control groups for women's evaluations of their labor, fetal monitoring, research, or overall experiences when surveyed on both occasions. Within each study group, a small but statistically significant decline occurred in women's scores for their experience of labor and overall experience from the initial survey close to the time of giving birth, to 3 months later. The magnitude of differences in responses over time was similar for the both groups. Women were more satisfied after a spontaneous or assisted vaginal birth than after cesarean section. Length of time the research midwife was present had a significant positive effect on women's ratings of their experience several days after giving birth (p = 0.006), but no effect at 3 months. CONCLUSIONS: The addition of fetal pulse oximetry for the assessment of fetal well-being during labor did not affect childbearing women's perceptions of fetal monitoring or their labor. Women evaluated their experience in the research process positively overall. Small changes occurred in women's perception of their satisfaction over time.


publication date

  • June 2006