Scientific article
Open access

Clinicians’ views regarding caesarean section rates in Switzerland: A cross-sectional web-based survey

Publication date2023-03

Objective: The caesarean section (CS) rate in Switzerland is currently 32 %, well above the WHO recommended rate of 15 %. The study aims were three-fold: to explore the perception of this high rate among Swiss obstetrics-gynecology (Ob-Gyn) professionals; to assess the factors associated with a perception of a too high national CS rate; and to describe professionals' opinions on measures to reduce this rate.

Study design: A cross-sectional study was conducted between 1 May and 30 June 2021 using an online questionnaire sent to Ob/Gyn physicians and midwives at a university hospital and members of the Swiss Conference of Heads of Ob/Gyn Divisions. Survey participation was voluntary. The main outcome was the belief that CS was high. Associations were explored between different factors and the main outcome with logistic regression. Results were presented as odds ratios (OR) with 95 % confidence intervals (CIs). Multivariate logistic regression included adjustments for age, gender, place of work and profession.

Results: Of 226 health professionals invited, 188 completed the questionnaire (83.2 % participation rate). Among respondents, 50.3 % (n = 94) were Ob/Gyn physicians and 49.7 % were midwives (n = 93); 77.1 % were women (n = 145). Most participants (74.7 % [n = 139]) considered the Swiss CS rate as too high and that it should be reduced (79 % [n = 147]) but, notably, they considered their own CS rate as correct (71.9 % [n = 123]). Improving patient education (57.5 % [n = 108]) and professional training (54.8 % [n = 103]) were considered as strategies to reduce this rate. In multivariate analysis, only length of professional experience was significantly associated with a higher likelihood of considering the CS rate as too high (OR 3.07, 95 % CI 1.01-9.30; p = 0.047). When specialty was added in the model, the length of professional experience disappeared and the perception of having a too high CS rate was associated with being a midwife and obstetrician rather than a gynecologist (OR 3.62, 95 % CI 1.72-7.63; p = 0.001).

Conclusions: Clinicians, particularly obstetricians, believed that the current rate of CS in Switzerland was too high and that actions were needed to reduce this rate. Improving patient education and professional training were considered as the main strategies to be explored.

  • Caesarean section
  • Clinicians
  • Improvement
  • Perception
  • Rate
  • Switzerland
Citation (ISO format)
MAURI, Fabio et al. Clinicians’ views regarding caesarean section rates in Switzerland: A cross-sectional web-based survey. In: European journal of obstetrics & gynecology and reproductive biology. X, 2023, vol. 17, p. 100182. doi: 10.1016/j.eurox.2023.100182
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Article (Published version)
ISSN of the journal2590-1613

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