To assess which factors influence provider-associated differences in obstetric interventions.
A survey of obstetricians and co-workers in a sample consisting of 38 Dutch hospitals was taken, using a questionnaire that contained questions about personal and hospital-policy data, and 19 clinical problems with a choice between intervention and non-intervention. From the clinical problems an Intervention Score was assembled. The influence of the personal and hospital-policy items on this Intervention Score was studied by analysis of variance.
Overall the Intervention Score was low, with considerable interindividual variation. Four personal/hospital items influenced the Intervention Score: the teacher could affect the score in either direction; the increasing age of the obstetrician and routine electronic fetal monitoring had an increasing effect; employment of midwives had a decreasing effect. Other factors, including litigation, had no effect.
Supplier-induced differences do exist in obstetric interventions and are influenced by personal and hospital-policy factors.
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