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Epidemiologic Considerations: Scope of Problem and Disparity Concerns


Clinical Obstetrics and Gynecology: June 2014 - Volume 57 - Issue 2 - p 326–330
doi: 10.1097/GRF.0000000000000021
Elective Induction of Labor

Elective labor induction is an increasingly common practice not only in high-income countries but also in many low-income and middle-income countries. Many questions remain unanswered on the safety and cost-effectiveness of elective labor induction, particularly in resource-constrained settings wherein there may be a high unmet need for medically indicated inductions, as well as limited or no access to appropriate medications and equipment for induction and monitoring, comprehensive emergency obstetric care, safe, and timely cesarean section, and appropriate supervision from health professionals. This article considers the global perspective on the epidemiology, practices, safety, and costs associated with elective labor induction.

Department of Research & Evaluation, Kaiser Permanente Southern California, Pasadena, California

Dr. Getahun was partly supported by Kaiser Permanente Direct Community Benefit Funds and by the Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health & Human Development of the National Institute of Health under Award Number R01HD071986. The content is solely the responsibility of the author and does not necessarily represent the official views of the Kaiser Permanente Community Benefit Funds and the National Institute of Health.

The author declares that there is nothing to disclose.

Correspondence: Darios Getahun, MD, PhD, MPH, Department of Research & Evaluation, Kaiser Permanente Southern California, Pasadena, CA. E-mail:

© 2014 by Lippincott Williams & Wilkins.