ZHAW Develops Questionnaire for Optimal Birth Process

Winterthur – A questionnaire is to help midwives determine the optimal time for hospital admission for women giving birth. It is the result of the GebStart study conducted by the Zurich University of Applied Sciences (ZHAW). It should have a positive influence on the birth process and reduce costs.

As part of the GebStart study, researchers from the ZHAW Institute of Midwifery and Reproductive Health investigated which factors can be used to determine the optimal time for hospital admission. A standardized questionnaire was developed with 15 evidence-based questions that not only focus on the physical condition, but also on a wide range of aspects such as the emotional state and the supportive environment.

Midwives should use the questionnaire as a decision-making aid when they have to give an assessment of the birth phase over the phone. For women giving birth, the questions should serve as an individual recommendation as to when it makes sense to go to hospital.

"The optimal time for hospital admission has a positive effect on both the birth experience and healthcare costs, because intervention rates are reduced and inpatient stays are shortened," says Susanne Grylka, head of the GebStart study, in a ZHAW press release on the study.

The questionnaire was tested at six maternity clinics in Zurich, Winterthur, Lucerne, Basel and Baden AG with over 600 first-time mothers. The study was funded by the Swiss National Science Foundation. A final conference on the study will be held in Winterthur on March 22. ce/js

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