A cluster-randomized trial to reduce major perinatal morbidity among women with one prior cesarean delivery in Québec (PRISMA trial): Study protocol for a randomized controlled trial

Academic Article


  • Background: Rates of cesarean delivery are continuously increasing in industrialized countries, with repeated cesarean accounting for about a third of all cesareans. Women who have undergone a first cesarean are facing a difficult choice for their next pregnancy, i.e.: (1) to plan for a second cesarean delivery, associated with higher risk of maternal complications than vaginal delivery; or (b) to have a trial of labor (TOL) with the aim to achieve a vaginal birth after cesarean (VBAC) and to accept a significant, but rare, risk of uterine rupture and its related maternal and neonatal complications. The objective of this trial is to assess whether a multifaceted intervention would reduce the rate of major perinatal morbidity among women with one prior cesarean. Methods/design: The study is a stratified, non-blinded, cluster-randomized, parallel-group trial of a multifaceted intervention. Hospitals in Quebec are the units of randomization and women are the units of analysis. As depicted in Figure 1, the study includes a 1-year pre-intervention period (baseline), a 5-month implementation period, and a 2-year intervention period. At the end of the baseline period, 20 hospitals will be allocated to the intervention group and 20 to the control group, using a randomization stratified by level of care. Medical records will be used to collect data before and during the intervention period. Primary outcome is the rate of a composite of major perinatal morbidities measured during the intervention period. Secondary outcomes include major and minor maternal morbidity; minor perinatal morbidity; and TOL and VBAC rate. The effect of the intervention will be assessed using the multivariable generalized-estimating-equations extension of logistic regression. The evaluation will include subgroup analyses for preterm and term birth, and a cost-effectiveness analysis. Discussion: The intervention is designed to facilitate: (1) women's decision-making process, using a decision analysis tool (DAT), (2) an estimate of uterine rupture risk during TOL using ultrasound evaluation of low-uterine segment thickness, (3) an estimate of chance of TOL success, using a validated prediction tool, and (4) the implementation of best practices for intrapartum management. Trial registration: Current Controlled Trials, ID: ISRCTN15346559. Registered on 20 August 2015.
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  • Trials  Journal
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    Author List

  • Chaillet N; Bujold E; Masse B; Grobman WA; Rozenberg P; Pasquier JC; Shorten A; Johri M; Beaudoin F; Abenhaim H
  • Volume

  • 18
  • Issue

  • 1