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Revista Española de Salud Pública

On-line version ISSN 2173-9110Print version ISSN 1135-5727


LIBRERO, Julián; PEIRO, Salvador; BELDA, Ana  and  CALABUIG, Julia. C-Section Rate in Low-Risk Women: a Useful Indicator to Compare Hospitals Attending Deliveries with Different Risks. Rev. Esp. Salud Publica [online]. 2014, vol.88, n.3, pp.315-326. ISSN 2173-9110.

Background: the C-section rate has been criticized as a performance indicator for not considering that different hospitals manage deliveries with diverse risks. In this work we explore the characteristics of a new indicator restricted to low C-section risk deliveries. Methods: retrospective cohort of all births (n=214,611) in all public hospitals during 2005-2010 in the Valencia Region, Spain (source: minimum basic dataset). A low-risk subpopulation consisting of women under-35, no history of c-section, between 37 and 41 gestational weeks, and with a single fetus, with cephalic presentation and normal weight (2500-3999 g) was constructed. We analyzed variability in the new indicator, its correlation with the crude indicator and, using multilevel logistic regression models, the presence of residual risks. Results: a total of 117 589 births (58.4% of the whole deliveries) were identified as low C-section risk. The c-section rate in these women was 11.9% (24.4% for all deliveries) ranging between hospitals from 7.0% to 28.9%. The c-section rate in low-risk and total deliveries correlated strongly (r=0.88). The remaining risks in the population of low risk did not alter the hospital effect on the c-section rate. Conclusion: the percentage of C-section in low risk women include a high volume of deliveries, correlated with the crude indicator and residual risks are not differentially influenced by hospitals, being a useful indicator for monitoring the quality of obstetric care in the National Health System.

Keywords : Cesarean section; Quality of health care; Risk adjustment.

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