1. Smith, Denise Colter PhD, CNM
  2. Phillippi, Julia C. PhD, CNM
  3. Tilden, Ellen L. PhD, CNM
  4. Lowe, Nancy K. PhD, CNM
  5. Carlson, Nicole S. PhD, CNM
  6. Neal, Jeremy L. PhD, CNM
  7. Blankstein Breman, Rachel PhD, RN, MPH


Background: The World Health Organization-endorsed Robson Ten-Group Classification System (TGCS) is a standard reporting mechanism for cesarean birth, yet this approach is not widely adopted in the United States.


Objective: To describe the application and utility of the TGCS to compare hospital-level cesarean births rates, for use in quality improvement and benchmarking.


Methods: We conducted a descriptive, secondary data analysis of the Consortium on Safe Labor dataset using data from 228 438 women's births, from 2002 to 2008, in 12 sites across the United States. We stratified births into 10 mutually exclusive groups and calculated within-group proportions of group size and cesarean birth rates for between-hospital comparisons of cesarean birth, trial of labor after cesarean (TOLAC), and labor induction utilization.


Results: There is variation in use of cesarean birth, labor induction, and TOLAC across the 12 sites.


Conclusion: The TGCS provides a method for between-hospital comparisons, particularly for revealing usage patterns of labor induction, TOLAC, and cesarean birth. Adoption of the TGCS in the United States would provide organizations and quality improvement leaders with an effective benchmarking tool to assist in reducing the use of cesarean birth and increasing the support of TOLAC.