Obstetricians' choice of cesarean delivery in ambiguous cases: is it influenced by risk attitude or fear of complaints and litigation?

Abstract:

OBJECTIVE:The aim of this study was to test the hypothesis that obstetricians' choice of delivery method is influenced by their risk attitude and perceived risk of complaints and malpractice litigation. STUDY DESIGN:The choice of delivery method in ambiguous cases was studied in a nationwide survey of Norwegian obstetricians (n = 716; response rate, 71%) using clinical scenarios. The risk attitude was measured by 6 items from the Jackson Personality Inventory-Revised. RESULTS:The proportion of obstetricians consenting to the cesarean request varied both within and across the scenarios. The perceived risk of complaints and malpractice litigation was a clear determinant of obstetricians' choice of cesarean in all of the clinical scenarios, whereas no impact was observed for risk attitude. CONCLUSION:Obstetricians' judgments about cesarean request in ambiguous clinical cases vary considerably. Perceived risk of complaints and litigation is associated with compliance with the requested cesarean.

journal_name

Am J Obstet Gynecol

authors

Fuglenes D,Oian P,Kristiansen IS

doi

10.1016/j.ajog.2008.07.021

subject

Has Abstract

pub_date

2009-01-01 00:00:00

pages

48.e1-8

issue

1

eissn

0002-9378

issn

1097-6868

pii

S0002-9378(08)00802-8

journal_volume

200

pub_type

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