Health policies for the reduction of obstetric interventions in singleton full-term births in Catalonia

Maria Jesus Pueyo, Ramon Escuriet, M. Pérez-Botella, I. de Molina, D. Ruíz-Berdun, S. Albert, S. Díaz, P. Torres-Capcha, V. Ortún

Research output: Indexed journal article Articlepeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)


Aim: To explore the effect of hospital's characteristics in the proportion of obstetric interventions (OI) performed in singleton fullterm births (SFTB) in Catalonia (2010–2014), while incentives were employed to reduce C-sections. Methods: Data about SFTB assisted at 42 public hospitals were extracted from the dataset of hospital discharges. Hospitals were classified according to the level of complexity, the volume of births attended, and the adoption of a non-medicalized delivery (NMD) strategy. The annual average change in the percentage for OI was calculated based on Poisson regression models. Results: The rate of OI (35% of all SFTB) including C-sections (20.6%) remained stable through the period. Hospitals attending less complex cases had a lower average of OI, while hospitals attending lower volumes had the highest average. Higher levels of complexity increased the use of C-sections (+4% yearly) and forceps (+16%). The adoption of the NMD strategy decreased the rate of C-sections. Conclusions: The proportion of OI, including C-sections, remained stable in spite of public incentives to reduce them. The adoption of the NMD strategy could help in decreasing the rate of OI. To reduce the OI rate, new strategies should be launched as the development of low-risk pregnancies units, alignment of incentives and hospital payment, increased value of incentives and encouragement of a cultural shift towards non-medicalized births.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)367-372
Number of pages6
JournalHealth Policy
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2018
Externally publishedYes


  • Cesarea
  • Health policies
  • Level of complexity
  • Non-medicalized delivery
  • Obstetric interventions
  • Volume of births


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