Research Article|Articles in Press

Iranian obstetricians’ views about the factors that influence pregnant women's choice of delivery method: A qualitative study

Published:October 19, 2012DOI:



      Caesarean section is a commonly performed childbirth procedure. While caesarean section is undeniably a lifesaving procedure for some mothers and babies, it can also be an unnecessary procedure for others. Different factors may be involved in the rate of birth by caesarean section.


      This qualitative study was conducted in Kashan city, Iran, to explore obstetrician's views of what might influence pregnant women's choice of delivery method.


      Obstetricians’ views and experiences were collected using semi-structured interviews. Interviews were conducted in a clinic or hospital, based on the preference of the 18 physicians who agreed to participate in the study. All interviews were recorded and transcribed. Participants were asked key questions, including: “Why do some women prefer caesarean section?”; “What kind of delivery did you have and why?”; “What kind of delivery would you recommend to pregnant women and why?” Inductive qualitative content analysis was undertaken using the method described by Morreti with 120 initial codes categorized into six categories.


      The six categories developed from the initial codes were: factors relating to women, obstetricians, delivery conditions, complications, society's beliefs and the health system.


      A qualitative study conducted in Iran showed that most of the factors identified by participants facilitated the choice of caesarean section. Vaginal birth was anticipated as a painful and lengthy process, with low cultural acceptance and resulting in less income for obstetricians.

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