Toggle Main Menu Toggle Search

Open Access padlockePrints

Antenatal telephone support intervention with and without uterine artery Doppler screening for low risk nulliparous women: a randomised controlled trial

Lookup NU author(s): Dr Vikki Snaith, Dr Nick Steen, Professor Steve RobsonORCiD



This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License (CC BY 4.0).


Background: The number of routine antenatal visits provided to low risk nulliparous women has been reduced in the UK, acknowledging this change in care may result in women being less satisfied with their care and having poorer psychosocial outcomes. The primary aim of the study was to investigate whether the provision of proactive telephone support intervention (TSI) with and without uterine artery Doppler screening (UADS) would reduce the total number of antenatal visits required. A secondary aim was to investigate whether the interventions affected psychological outcomes.Methods: A three-arm randomised controlled trial involving 840 low risk nulliparous women was conducted at a large maternity unit in North East England. All women received antenatal care in line with current UK guidance. Women in the TSI group (T) received calls from a midwife at 28, 33 and 36 weeks and women in the telephone and Doppler group (T + D) received the TSI and additional UADS at 20 weeks' gestation. The main outcome measure was the total number of scheduled and unscheduled antenatal visits received after 20 weeks' gestation.Results: The median number of unscheduled (n = 2.0), scheduled visits (n = 7.0) and mean number of total visits (n = 8.8) were similar in the three groups. The majority (67%) of additional antenatal visits were made to a Maternity Assessment Unit because of commonly occurring pregnancy complications. Additional TSI+/-UADS was not associated with differences in clinical outcomes, levels of anxiety, social support or satisfaction with care. There were challenges to the successful delivery of the telephone support intervention; 59% of women were contacted at 29 and 33 weeks gestation reducing to 52% of women at 37 weeks.Conclusions: Provision of additional telephone support (with or without UADS) in low risk nulliparous women did not reduce the number of unscheduled antenatal visits or reduce anxiety. This study provides a useful insight into the reasons why this client group attend for unscheduled visits.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Snaith VJ, Hewison J, Steen IN, Robson SC

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: BMC Pregnancy and Childbirth

Year: 2014

Volume: 14

Print publication date: 31/03/2014

Acceptance date: 19/03/2014

Date deposited: 22/08/2014

ISSN (electronic): 1471-2393

Publisher: BioMed Central Ltd


DOI: 10.1186/1471-2393-14-121


Altmetrics provided by Altmetric