Breech specialist midwives and clinics in the OptiBreech Trial feasibility study: An implementation process evaluation

Tisha Dasgupta, Sarah Hunter, Sharna Reid, Jane Sandall, Andrew Shennan, Siân M. Davies, Shawn Walker*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Citations (Scopus)


Background: Attendance of skilled and experienced professionals at breech births has been associated with a reduction in adverse perinatal outcomes. We aimed to determine whether United Kingdom National Health Service (NHS) sites could reliably provide attendants with OptiBreech training and/or advanced proficiency (intervention feasibility) and consistent care (fidelity) that meets women's needs (acceptability), with low neonatal admission rates (safety) and recruitment adequate to support a clinical trial (trial feasibility). Methods: Mixed methods implementation evaluation was used. Settings were 13 services in England and Wales. Participants were 82 women requesting support for a vaginal breech birth (VBB) at term. Outcomes were descriptively analyzed. Twenty-one women were interviewed, and transcripts were analyzed using the Theoretical Framework of Acceptability. Iterative analysis informed subsequent interviews and the ongoing process of implementation across sites. Results: Although we initially suggested multidisciplinary teams, actively recruiting Trusts yielded services where VBB care was provided through a dedicated clinic, organized and delivered primarily by a lead midwife who functioned as a specialist. This model achieved 87.5% fidelity with the intervention's goal of ensuring the attendance of OptiBreech-trained professionals. Neonatal outcomes remained stable, with an admission rate of 5.5%. Women reported care from specialist midwives as highly acceptable, but the model is vulnerable without a strategic effort to develop additional proficient team members. Conclusions: Dedicated clinics coordinated by specialist midwives appear to be an acceptable and feasible implementation strategy to test the safety and effectiveness of proficient team care for VBB in a clinical trial. Back-up arrangements should be maintained while additional members of the team develop proficiency.

Original languageEnglish
Publication statusAccepted/In press - 2022


  • breech clinics
  • breech presentation
  • breech teams
  • feasibility
  • implementation
  • specialist midwives
  • vaginal breech delivery


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