Introduction and hypothesis: There are no data on midwives’ knowledge and management of obstetric anal sphincter injuries (OASIs) in the USA. We performed a cross-sectional national survey characterizing OASI practice by certified nurse midwives (CNMs), hypothesizing that few midwives personally repair OASIs and that there are gaps in CNM OASI training/education. Methods: We emailed a REDCap internet-based survey to 6909 American College of Nurse Midwives members (ACNM). We analyzed responses from active clinicians performing at least one delivery per month, asking about OASI risks, prevention, repair, and management. We summarized descriptive data then evaluated OASI knowledge by patient and provider characteristics. Results: We received 1070 (15.5%) completed surveys, and 832 (77.8%) met the inclusion/exclusion criteria. Participants were similar to ACNM membership. Respondents most frequently identified prior OASI (87%) and nutrition (71%) as antepartum OASI risk factors and, less frequently, nulliparity (36%) and race (22%). Identified intrapartum risks included forceps delivery (94%) and midline episiotomy (88%). When obstetric laceration is suspected, 13.6% of respondents perform a rectal examination routinely. Only 15% of participants personally perform OASI repair. Overall, participants matched 64% of evidence-based answers. OASI education/training courses were attended by 30% of respondents, and 44% knew of OASI protocols within their group/institution. Of all factors evaluated, the percent of evidence-based responses was only different for respondent education/CME and protocols. Conclusions: Quality initiatives regarding OASI prevention and management may improve care. Our data suggest OASI training for midwives may improve delivery care in the US. Further studies of other obstetric providers are needed.
- Perineal trauma
- Quality improvement