Assessing obstetric risk factors for maternal morbidity: congruity between medical records and mothers' reports of obstetric exposures Academic Article uri icon


  • Objective

    We sought to assess congruity between data abstracted from medical records with answers to self-administered questionnaires.

    Study design

    This was a multicenter prospective nulliparous pregnancy cohort.


    A total of 1507 women enrolled. Analyses were reported for 1296 with medical record data and 3-month postpartum follow-up. There was near-perfect agreement (κ ≥ 0.80) between maternal report and abstracted data for reproductive history, induction/augmentation method, epidural/spinal analgesia, method of birth, perineal repair, infant birthweight, and gestation. Agreement was poor to moderate for maternal position in second stage and duration of pushing.


    Maternal report of pregnancy, labor, and birth factors was very reliable and considered more accurate in relation to maternal position in labor and birth, smoking, prior terminations, and miscarriages. Use of routine birthing outcome summaries may introduce measurement error as hospitals differ in their definitions and reporting practices. Using primary data sources (eg, partograms) with clearly defined prespecified criteria will provide the most accurate obstetric exposure and outcome data.


publication date

  • February 2012