Is giving women their own case notes to carry during pregnancy beneficial?
A policy of giving women their own case notes to carry during
pregnancy has both potential benefits (increased maternal
control and satisfaction during pregnancy, increased availability
of antenatal records during hospital attendance) and harm (more
operative deliveries). Importantly, all of the trials reported that
more women in the case notes group would prefer to hold their
antenatal records in another pregnancy. There was insufficient
evidence of the effect of giving women their own case notes
on health-related behaviours (smoking and breastfeeding) and
clinical outcomes (analgesia needs during labour, miscarriage,
stillbirth and neonatal deaths).
The 3 trials were small, and not all of them reported on all outcomes.
It is important to emphasise this review shows a lack of
evidence of benefit rather than evidence of no benefit.
In many countries women are given their own case notes to carry
during pregnancy so as to increase their sense of control and
satisfaction with their care.