Use and misuse of the term elective in obstetrics

Vincenzo Berghella, Sean C. Blackwell, Susan M. Ramin, Baha M. Sibai, George Saade

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

12 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

The term elective is commonly used in obstetrics. We performed an electronic search of MEDLINE database using the terms elective and obstetrics, which provided 2,208 publications. We found elective was more often used in relation to surgical interventions (eg, cesarean delivery, cerclage) and medical procedures (labor induction) rather than diagnostic procedures. Our review indicates the term lacks the necessary scientific specificity when used to modify procedures such as cerclage, cesarean delivery, timing of delivery, episiotomy, hysterectomy, labor induction, preterm delivery, termination of pregnancy, and ultrasonography. The lack of specificity of the term suggests the most reasonable and prudent course of action is to not use it, but rather to document the specific indication (whether medical or non-medical) for the intervention or procedure (eg, cesarean delivery on maternal request, history-indicated cerclage, induction for preeclampsia). We propose that the term elective should be eliminated from the vocabulary of obstetric practice.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)372-376
Number of pages5
JournalObstetrics and Gynecology
Volume117
Issue number2 PART 1
DOIs
StatePublished - Feb 2011
Externally publishedYes

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Obstetrics
Induced Labor
Episiotomy
Vocabulary
Pre-Eclampsia
Hysterectomy
MEDLINE
Publications
Ultrasonography
History
Mothers
Databases
Pregnancy

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Obstetrics and Gynecology

Cite this

Berghella, V., Blackwell, S. C., Ramin, S. M., Sibai, B. M., & Saade, G. (2011). Use and misuse of the term elective in obstetrics. Obstetrics and Gynecology, 117(2 PART 1), 372-376. https://doi.org/10.1097/AOG.0b013e31820780ff

Use and misuse of the term elective in obstetrics. / Berghella, Vincenzo; Blackwell, Sean C.; Ramin, Susan M.; Sibai, Baha M.; Saade, George.

In: Obstetrics and Gynecology, Vol. 117, No. 2 PART 1, 02.2011, p. 372-376.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Berghella, V, Blackwell, SC, Ramin, SM, Sibai, BM & Saade, G 2011, 'Use and misuse of the term elective in obstetrics', Obstetrics and Gynecology, vol. 117, no. 2 PART 1, pp. 372-376. https://doi.org/10.1097/AOG.0b013e31820780ff
Berghella, Vincenzo ; Blackwell, Sean C. ; Ramin, Susan M. ; Sibai, Baha M. ; Saade, George. / Use and misuse of the term elective in obstetrics. In: Obstetrics and Gynecology. 2011 ; Vol. 117, No. 2 PART 1. pp. 372-376.
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