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This article is part of the supplement: Preterm Birth - Interdisciplinary research from the Preterm Birth and Healthy Outcomes Team (PreHOT)

Open Access Research

Validation of Canadian mothers’ recall of events in labour and delivery with electronic health records

Uilst Bat-Erdene1, Amy Metcalfe2, Sheila W McDonald1 and Suzanne C Tough12*

Author Affiliations

1 Department of Paediatrics, University of Calgary, Calgary, Alberta, Canada

2 Department of Community Health Sciences, University of Calgary, Calgary, Alberta, Canada

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BMC Pregnancy and Childbirth 2013, 13(Suppl 1):S3  doi:10.1186/1471-2393-13-S1-S3

Published: 31 January 2013

Abstract

Background

Maternal report of events that occur during labour and delivery are used extensively in epidemiological research; however, the validity of these data are rarely confirmed. This study aimed to validate maternal self-report of events that occurred in labour and delivery with data found in electronic health records in a Canadian setting.

Methods

Data from the All Our Babies study, a prospective community-based cohort of women’s experiences during pregnancy, were linked to electronic health records to assess the validity of maternal recall at four months post-partum of events that occurred during labour and delivery. Sensitivity, specificity and kappa scores were calculated. Results were stratified by maternal age, gravidity and educational attainment.

Results

Maternal recall at four months post-partum was excellent for infant characteristics (gender, birth weight, gestational age, multiple births) and variables related to labour and delivery (mode of delivery, epidural, labour induction) (sensitivity and specificity >85%). Women who had completed a university degree had significantly better recall of labour induction and use of an epidural.

Conclusion

Maternal recall of infant characteristics and events that occurred during labour and delivery is excellent at four months post-partum and is a valid source of information for research purposes.