Fear for external cephalic version and depression: Predictors of successful external cephalic version for breech presentation at term?

Emily Ciliacus, Marieke van der Zalm, Sophie E. Truijens, Tom H. Hasaart, Victor J. Pop, Simone M. Kuppens

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Objective was to determine whether fear for external cephalic version (ECV) and depression are associated with the success rate of ECV in women with a breech presentation at term.
Prospective study conducted in the Catharina Hospital Eindhoven between October 2007 and May 2012. Participants fulfilled The Edinburgh Depression Scale (EDS) questionnaire and expressed their degree of fear on a visual analogue scale from one to ten before ECV. Obstetric factors were evaluated as well. Primary outcome was the relation between psychological factors (fear for ECV and depression EDS scores) and ECV success rate. Secondary outcome was a possible relation between fear for ECV and increased abdominal muscle tension.
The overall success rate was 55% and was significantly lower (p < 0.001) in nulliparous women (44.3%) compared with parous women (78.0%). Fear for ECV and depression EDS-scores were not related with ECV success rate. Parity, placental location, BMI and engagement of the fetal breech were obstetric factors associated with ECV outcome. There was no relation between fear for ECV and abdominal muscle tone.
Fear for ECV and depression were not related with ECV success rate in this study. Engagement of the fetal breech was the most important factor associated with a successful ECV.Keywords: External cephalic version, Breech presentation, EDS, Depression, Psychological predictors
Original languageEnglish
Article number101
JournalBMC Pregnancy and Childbirth
Publication statusPublished - 12 Mar 2014


  • External cephalic version
  • Breech presentation
  • EDS
  • Depression
  • Psychological predictors

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