A cross-country survey of attitudes toward childbirth technologies and interventions among university students

the ICAPP Study Team

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Problem & aim: Cultural beliefs that equate birth technology with progress, safety and convenience contribute to widespread acceptance of childbirth technology and interventions. Little is known about attitudes towards childbirth technology and interventions among the next generation of maternity care users and whether attitudes vary by country, age, gender, childbirth fear, and other factors. Methods: Data were collected via online survey in eight countries. Students who had never had children, and who planned to have at least one child were eligible to participate. Findings: The majority of participants (n = 4569) were women (79.3%), and the median age was 22 years. More than half of students agreed that birth technology makes birth easier (55.8%), protects babies from harm (49.1%) and that women have a right to choose a medically non-indicated cesarean (50.8%). Respondents who had greater acceptance of childbirth technology and interventions were from countries with higher national caesarean birth rates, reported higher levels of childbirth fear, and were more likely to report that visual media or school-based education shaped their attitudes toward birth. Positive attitudes toward childbirth technology and interventions were also associated with less confidence in knowledge of birth, and more common among younger and male respondents. Discussion/conclusion: Educational strategies to teach university students about pregnancy and birth in ways that does not frighten them and promotes critical reflection about childbirth technology are needed. This is especially true in countries with high rates of interventions that reciprocally shape culture norms, attitudes, and expectations.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)231-239
Number of pages9
JournalWomen and Birth
Volume32
Issue number3
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2019

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
We would like to thank all of our international team members who are not listed as co-authors, but without whom this project would not have been possible: Patricia McNiven from McMaster University in Canada, Deborah Payne from Auckland University of Technology in New Zealand. Wendy Hall from the University of British Columbia in Canada. Yvonne Hauck from Curtin University in Australia. We are also grateful to the dean of the University of Bamberg (who facilitated data collection at that university) and the young people who took the time to respond to the survey. The study was supported by an internal grant from Curtin University in Western Australia. The first author received salary support from the Canadian Institutes of Health Research and the Michael Smith Foundation for Health Research.

Funding Information:
We are also grateful to the dean of the University of Bamberg (who facilitated data collection at that university) and the young people who took the time to respond to the survey. The study was supported by an internal grant from Curtin University in Western Australia. The first author received salary support from the Canadian Institutes of Health Research and the Michael Smith Foundation for Health Research.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2018 Australian College of Midwives

Other keywords

  • Attitude
  • Birth
  • Survey
  • Technology
  • Young adults

Fingerprint

Dive into the research topics of 'A cross-country survey of attitudes toward childbirth technologies and interventions among university students'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this