Background: Hispanic women choose epidural labor analgesia less commonly than non-Hispanic women. This may represent a healthcare disparity related to a language barrier and inadequate opportunities for labor analgesia education. It was hypothesized that a language-concordant, educational program regarding labor epidurals would improve epidural utilization in two independent cohorts of Hispanic and non-Hispanic women. Methods: A randomized controlled trial, blinded to anesthesia, nursing, and obstetric providers, was completed at an academic hospital (February 2015 to February 2017). Two cohorts of Medicaid beneficiaries of Hispanic (English-and/or Spanish-speaking) and non-Hispanic ethnicity were enrolled concurrently. The patients were randomized to routine care alone or routine care and an additional educational program comprised of three components: A video show, corresponding pamphlet, and in-person counseling. The primary endpoint was use of epidural labor analgesia. The secondary endpoint was change in response before and after delivery on common misconceptions based on a 12-point epidural questionnaire. Results: Hispanic women randomized to the intervention group were 33% more likely to choose epidural analgesia compared to the routine care group (40 of 50 [80%] vs. 30 of 50 [60%]; risk ratio, 1.33 [95% CI, 1.02 to 1.74]; P = 0.029). For the non-Hispanic cohort, no difference was detected in epidural use between the intervention and routine care groups (41 of 50 [82%] vs. 42 of 49 [86%]; risk ratio, 0.96 [95% CI, 0.80 to 1.14]; P = 0.62), but the study was underpowered to determine a result of no difference. Patients assigned to the intervention had a greater improvement in epidural understanding compared with routine care, among both Hispanic (2.26 vs. 0.74, respectively; difference in change from baseline, 1.52 [95% CI, 0.77 to 2.27]; P < 0.001) and non-Hispanic (1.36 vs. 0.33, respectively; difference in change from baseline, 1.03 [95% CI, 0.23 to 1.75]; P = 0.005) cohorts. There were no adverse events during the trial. Conclusions: The educational program increased epidural use among Hispanic women. The educational program reduced misconceptions regarding epidural analgesia in both Hispanic and non-Hispanic cohorts.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Anesthesiology and Pain Medicine