BACKGROUND: Clinical triage of women in threatened preterm labour (TPTL) could be improved through utilising the QUiPP App, as symptoms alone are poor predictors of early delivery. As most women in TPTL ultimately deliver at term, they must weigh this likelihood with their own personal considerations, and responsibilities. The importance of personal considerations was highlighted by the 2015 Montgomery ruling, and the significance of shared decision-making.

AIMS: Through qualitative interviews, the primary aim was to explore women's decision-making experiences in TPTL through onset of symptoms, triage, clinical assessment, and discharge.

METHODS: Qualitative interviews were undertaken as part of the EQUIPTT study (REC: 17/LO/1802) using a semi-structured interview schedule. Descriptive labels of the coding scheme were applied to the raw transcript data. This coding scheme was then increasingly refined into key themes and allowed parallels to be made within and between cases.

RESULTS: Ten ethnically diverse women who presented at six different London hospitals sites in TPTL were interviewed. Three final themes emerged from the data incorporating 10 sub-themes, 'Seeking help', 'Being "assessed" vs making clinical decisions together', and 'End result.'

CONCLUSION: Women described their busy lives and the need to juggle their commitments. Participants drew comparisons between their TPTL symptoms and 'period pain,' contrasting to typical medical terminology. Shared decision-making and the clinician-patient relationship could be improved through clinicians utilizing terminology women understand and relate to. Women used language that highlighted the clinician-patient power balance. While not fully involved in shared decision-making, women were overall satisfied with their care.

Original languageEnglish
Article number100611
Pages (from-to)100611
Number of pages7
JournalSexual & reproductive healthcare : official journal of the Swedish Association of Midwives
Early online date29 Mar 2021
Publication statusPublished - Sept 2021


  • Preterm birth
  • Decision-making
  • QUiPP
  • Threatened preterm labour
  • Period pain


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