Elective induction of labor is a controversial topic. An observed relationship between elective induction and primary cesarean delivery has been of particular concern, and has guided much of the research to date on both indicated and elective induction of labor. However, it is unclear whether elective induction of labor actually increases the risk of cesarean delivery. This chapter focuses on key method issues to consider in studies of elective induction of labor. We first identify methodological concerns with the existing literature and discuss each in turn. We then review existing evidence about the relationship between elective induction and cesarean delivery.
Departments of *Medical Informatics and Clinical Epidemiology
†Obstetrics and Gynecology, Oregon Health and Science University, Portland, Oregon
B.G.D. was supported by an AHRQ T32 postdoctoral award (HS017582). A.B.C. was supported by HRSA/MCH Grant R40MC25694-01-00.
The authors declare that they have nothing to disclose.
Correspondence: Aaron B. Caughey, MD, MPP, MPH, PhD, Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Oregon Health and Science University, Portland, OR. E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org