Background and Aims Both combined spinal-epidural and epidural techniques are shown to provide effective pain relief during labour and there appears to be little basis for offering one technique over the other. The aim of this study was to evaluate if there is any difference between the techniques regarding overall maternal satisfaction.
Methods We conducted a retrospective questionnaire survey to women up to 3 days after delivery, between July and September 2020. The primary outcome was the degree of satisfaction (with a numeric rating scale from 0 to 10). Secondary outcomes were pain relief (with a numeric rating scale from 0 to 10) and side effects. Outcomes after labour analgesia with epidural were compared with combined spinal-epidural technique. Statistical analysis was performed using SPSS® software (version 22).
Results A total of 213 women answered the questionnaire, of which 51.6% had a combined spinal-epidural and 48.4% epidural technique. The median degree of satisfaction was 10 [9;10] after combined spinal-epidural and 10 [8;10] after epidural (p-value <0,05; figure 1). Pain relief was higher after combined spinal-epidural (p-value <0,05; figure 2), despite an incidence of pruritus of 60% compared with 42% after epidural (p-value <0,05). About 49% of women reported no side effects after epidural versus 31% after combined spinal-epidural (p-value <0,05). No difference was found in terms of requesting neuraxial in a next pregnancy (98.2% after combined spinal-epidural compared with 97.1% after epidural).
Conclusions In our sample, even with higher side effects, namely pruritus, most women had better pain relief and were more satisfied with combined spinal-epidural technique.
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