Improving women's knowledge of prostaglandin induction of labour through the use of information brochures: A quasi-experimental study

Megan Cooper, Jane Warland

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

15 Citations (Scopus)


Research question: To gain a better understanding of women's baseline level of knowledge of induction of labour (IOL) and determine whether giving written information at the time IOL is decided, results in significant differences in knowledge and understanding of the process. Methods: Fifty pregnant women undergoing antenatal care at a small maternity hospital were recruited. A quasi experimental trial was conducted with non random selection of participants, 25 selected to act as the control group and 25 selected as the intervention group. The study was conducted to determine women's knowledge of IOL both before (non-intervention) and after (intervention) the introduction of a written information brochure. Results: Statistically significant increases in knowledge were evident in the intervention group for knowledge about action (p=0.002) and timing of prostaglandins (p=0.03), the number of side effects known (p<0.0001) as well as time to birth (p=0.001) indicating an increased understanding of the process as a result of reading an information brochure. Discussion: These results suggest that those in the non-intervention group lacked knowledge pertinent to IOL, even though they have consented to and actually arrived at the hospital prepared to undergo the IOL procedure. The most significant disparity noted between the intervention and non-intervention groups was women's knowledge of side effects of prostaglandin. Further to this, many women in the non-intervention group had unrealistic expectations of both the time for drug action and likely time from prostaglandin administration to birth. In contrast women in the intervention group knew about the common side effects of prostaglandin and possessed a more realistic understanding of the likely time to birth following this procedure. Conclusions: The results indicate that a specifically designed information brochure explaining the process of IOL in plain language has the effect of enhancing women's knowledge. This area of study warrants further investigation, especially research into the role of written information to improve women's understanding across other areas of maternity care education provision.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)156-164
Number of pages9
JournalWomen and Birth
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2011
Externally publishedYes


  • Induction of labour
  • Informed consent
  • Patient information
  • Women's knowledge


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