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Women's experience of induction of labour

Principal investigator
Maggie Redshaw (NPEU (Former member))
Jane Henderson (NPEU (Former member))
Labour and delivery
Start year
End year


A recent study has focused on women's experience of another specific type of intervention, that of medical induction of labour. Using the 2010 National Maternity Survey data a mixed methods study was carried out.

Women's experience of induction of labour was compared with that of women who had spontaneous labour by quantitative analysis of responses to structured survey questions focusing on satisfaction with care, mode of delivery, experience of induction of labour. Open text responses relating to induction were analysed thematically.

Key findings:

  • Nulliparous women, those with long-term health problems, or specific pregnancy-related problems were significantly more likely to be induced.
  • Women who were induced were generally less satisfied with their care and significantly less likely to have a normal delivery.
  • The main themes arising from the qualitative analysis concerned delay, staff shortages, feelings of neglect, pain and anxiety in relation to getting the induction started and once it was underway.
  • In relation to failed induction, the main themes were plans not being followed, wasted effort and pain, and feeling let down and disappointed.

In summary women having an induction were generally less satisfied with their care, suggesting the need for a focused service for these women to address their additional needs