Clinicians' evaluations of fetal oximetry sensor placement in a multicentre randomised trial (the FOREMOST trial)

CE East*, SP Brennecke, FY Chan, JF King, EM Beller, PB Colditz

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

6 Citations (Scopus)


Background: Fetal pulse oximetry (FPO) may improve the assessment of the fetal well-being in labour. Reports of health-care provider's evaluations of new technology are important in the overall evaluation of that technology.

Aims: To determine doctors' and midwives' perceptions of their experience placing FPO sensors.

Methods: We surveyed clinicians (midwives and doctors) following placement of a FPO sensor during the FOREMOST trial (multicentre randomised trial of fetal pulse oximetry). Clinicians rated ease of sensor placement (poor, fair, good and excellent). Potential influences on ease of sensor placement (staff category, prior experience in Birth Suite, prior experience in placing sensors, epidural analgesia, cervical dilatation and fetal station) were examined by ordinal regression.

Results: There were 281 surveys returned for the 294 sensor placement attempts (response rate 96%). Sensors were placed by midwives (29%), research midwives (48%), registrars (22%) and obstetricians (1%). The majority of clinicians had 1 or more years' Birth Suite experience, had placed six or more sensors previously, and rated ease of sensor placement as good. Advancing fetal station (P <0.001) and the presence of epidural analgesia prior to sensor placement (P = 0.029) predicted improved ease of sensor placement. Having a clinician placing a sensor for the first time predicted a lower rating for ease of sensor placement (P = 0.001), compared to having placed one or more sensors previously.

Conclusions: Clinicians with varying levels of Birth Suite experience successfully placed fetal oxygen saturation sensors, with the majority rating ease of sensor placement as good.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)234-239
Number of pages6
JournalAustralian and New Zealand Journal of Obstetrics and Gynaecology
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2006
Externally publishedYes


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