Domiciliary midwifery support in high-risk pregnancy incorporating telephonic fetal heart rate monitoring: A health technology randomized assessment

Andrew Dawson*, David Cohen, Claire Candelier, Gill Jones, Julia Sanders, Andy Thompson, Cliff Arnall, Edward Coles

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

We conducted a health technology assessment of the care of women with high-risk pregnancies in the South Wales valleys. Women in the control arm were intended to receive conventional care with standard midwifery visits. Women in the intervention arm received additional or longer visits and domiciliary fetal heart rate telemonitoring. Eighty-one mothers were randomized. There were significant differences in midwifery intervention resources between domiciliary and control groups, with the former receiving a mean of 3.7 visits lasting 33.5 min, compared with 1.4 visits lasting 12.8 min for the latter. There were slightly more spontaneous labours and fewer Caesarean sections in the domiciliary group. Maternal satisfaction and anxiety were high in both groups. Domiciliary care increased the service costs by £21.02 per woman in terms of extra midwife travel and visiting time, and by a further £18.38 per woman in home monitoring equipment costs. This, however, was more than offset by health service savings from fewer clinic visits (£35.60) and fewer clinic ultrasound scans (£9.01). Adding the reductions in lost productivity to women and their partners (£34.51) suggests that domiciliary care was cheaper than conventional care, even if it did not greatly reduce inpatient days (a reduction nonetheless saving £184.24). While clinical processes were similar in both groups, there were useful practical advantages and savings for patients and the health service from the domiciliary intervention.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)220-230
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of Telemedicine and Telecare
Volume5
Issue number4
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1999

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