Shared decision-making (SDM) may improve communication, teamwork, patient experience, respectful maternity care, and safety during childbirth. Despite these benefits, SDM is not widely implemented, and strategies for implementing SDM interventions are not well described. We assessed the acceptability and feasibility of TeamBirth, an SDM solution that centers the birthing person in decision-making through simple tools that structure communication among the care team. We identified and described implementation strategies that bridge the gap between knowledge and practice.
We conducted a qualitative study among four hospitals in the United States to understand the acceptability and feasibility of TeamBirth. We interviewed 103 clinicians and conducted 16 focus group discussions with 52 implementers between June 2018 and October 2019. We drew on the Consolidated Framework for Implementation Research to understand acceptability and feasibility, and to identify and describe the underlying contextual factors that affected implementation.
We found that clinicians and implementers valued TeamBirth for promoting clarity about care plans among the direct care team and for centering the birthing person in decision-making. Contextual factors that affected implementation included strength of leadership, physician practice models, and quality improvement culture. Effective implementation strategies included regular data feedback and adapting “flexible” components of TeamBirth to the local context.
By identifying and describing TeamBirth’s contextual factors and implementation strategies, our findings can help bridge the implementation gap of SDM interventions. Our in-depth analysis offers tangible lessons for other labor and delivery unit leaders as they seek to integrate SDM practices in their own settings.