City Research Online

Standards for maternity care professionals facilitating planned upright breech births: a Delphi consensus technique study

Walker, S., Scamell, A. & Parker, P. M. (2016). Standards for maternity care professionals facilitating planned upright breech births: a Delphi consensus technique study. Midwifery, 34, pp. 7-14. doi: 10.1016/j.midw.2016.01.007


Objective: to establish a consensus of opinion on standards of competence for professionals attending upright breech births.

Design: a three-round Delphi e-survey.

Setting: multi-national.

Participants: a panel of thirteen obstetricians, thirteen midwives and two user representatives. Clinicians had attended >20 upright breech births, or >10 upright among >40 total breech births. Mean level of experience = 135 breech births, median = 100 breech births.

Methods: an initial survey contained open-ended questions. Answers were coded and amalgamated to form 164 statements in the second round and 9 further statements in the third round. Panellists were asked to evaluate their agreement with each statement using a 5-point Likert scale. The pre-determined level of consensus was 70% of respondents indicating agreement or strong agreement with the statement.

Results: the panel returned a consensus-level agreement on 63 statements under the theme, 'Standards of Competence.' Panellists supported teaching breech as a 'normal' skill rather than an emergency, including optimal mechanisms and breech-specific progress measures, upright variations of classical manoeuvres, the initiation of resuscitation with the umbilical cord intact, birth videos as learning tools, and the development of breech teams to support the wider team in all maternity care settings.

Conclusions: while every health professional should maintain basic competence to assist unanticipated breech births, establishing enhanced training and standards for those who support planned breech births may help protect users and providers of maternity services, while introducing greater choice and flexibility for women seeking the option of vaginal breech birth.

Publication Type: Article
Additional Information: © 2016 Elsevier. Licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International
Publisher Keywords: Breech presentation, Midwifery, Obstetrics, Training, Clinical, Competence, Delphi
Subjects: R Medicine
R Medicine > RG Gynecology and obstetrics
Departments: School of Health & Psychological Sciences
SWORD Depositor:
[thumbnail of PBB Standards.pdf]
Text - Accepted Version
Available under License : See the attached licence file.

Download (643kB) | Preview
[thumbnail of Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International Licence]
Text (Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International Licence) - Other
Download (201kB) | Preview


Add to AnyAdd to TwitterAdd to FacebookAdd to LinkedinAdd to PinterestAdd to Email


Downloads per month over past year

View more statistics

Actions (login required)

Admin Login Admin Login