Giving women their case notes to carry during pregnancy may be beneficial

Clinical question: 
Is giving women their own case notes to carry during pregnancy beneficial?
Bottom line: 
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).
Caveat: 
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.
Context: 
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.
Review CD#: 
CD002856
PEARLS No: 
321
Date: 
October, 2008
Authored by: 
Brian R McAvoy