Presence of the partner in the operating room during a category 1 cesarean section: a prospective explorative study

H K Nedergaard*, E E Weitling, M Rahbech, C Frøslev-Friis, L H Quitzau, T Strøm, A C Brøchner, H I Jensen

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review

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BACKGROUND: Little information exists regarding attitudes related to the presence of the partner in the operation room (OR) during category 1 emergency cesarean section (cat. 1 CS). We investigated how cat. 1 CS under general anesthesia is experienced, both by partners present in the OR and those not.

METHODS: An explorative prospective cohort trial, with qualitative elements, involving all cat. 1 CS in 2022 in two hospitals. At site 1 the partner was present in the OR during cat. 1 CS, whereas at site 2 the partner was not. Parents and staff answered questionnaires following each cat. 1 CS and semi-structured interviews with partners were held three months after surgery. Qualitative data were analyzed using content analysis. The primary outcome was the partner's answer to the question: "Would you have preferred not being present/being present in the OR?" respectively.

RESULTS: Seventeen and eight cat. 1 CS occurred at each site respectively. All parents agreed to participate. No partners in site 1 would have preferred to wait outside, and all evaluated the experience very positively. Partners at site 2 also evaluated not being present positively. Overarching themes from the qualitative analysis were "Being the family witness" and "Experience of being the partner". Mothers and staff from site 1 were very positive about their partners' presence.

CONCLUSION: Partners present in the OR during cat. 1 CS under general anesthesia evaluated this very positively. Most partners, who had not been present in the OR, also evaluated this positively. No partners had post-traumatic stress.

Original languageEnglish
Article number103939
JournalInternational Journal of Obstetric Anesthesia
Number of pages6
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2024


  • Category 1 cesarean section
  • General anesthesia
  • Partner presence
  • Pregnancy
  • Cesarean Section
  • Prospective Studies
  • Humans
  • Operating Rooms
  • Female
  • Mothers


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