Tocolytic Treatment for the Prevention of Preterm Birth from a Taiwanese Perspective: A Survey of Taiwanese Obstetric Specialists

Howard Hao Lee, Chang Ching Yeh, Szu Ting Yang, Chia Hao Liu, Yi Jen Chen, Peng Hui Wang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Citations (Scopus)


Preterm birth represents a great burden to the healthcare system, resulting in the consid-eration for the use of tocolytic therapy to provide a “better time” for delivery in order to buy time to accelerate fetal lung maturity, thereby minimizing prematurity-related morbidity and mortality. However, the benefits and potential side effects and risks of tocolytic treatment for preterm birth should be carefully balanced. Although many countries and societies provide guidelines or consen-suses for the management for preterm birth, there is no standardized national guideline or consensus in Taiwan. As such, great heterogeneity is suspected in preterm labor management, contributing to the uncertainty of attitudes and practice patterns of obstetric specialists in Taiwan. This study attempts to understand the attitudes and practice patterns regarding tocolytic therapy in Taiwan. A paper-based survey was conducted at the 2020 Taiwan Society of Perinatology Conference on 8 December 2020, exploring how obstetric specialists would use tocolytics under nine different clinical scenarios, such as a short cervix, preterm labor, maintenance tocolysis, preterm premature rupture of membranes, etc. Three hundred ten specialists attended the conference, and 77 responded to the survey with a response rate of 24.8%. According to the survey, many of these specialists would prescribe tocolytics for less evidence-based indications, including 22% for abdominal tightness, 46% for a short cervix, 60% for maintenance tocolysis, and 89% for repeat tocolysis, with the preferred first line medication being ritodrine and nifedipine. We concluded that tocolysis is widely accepted and practiced in Taiwan. More research is needed to include Taiwan-specific economic and cultural factors as well as associated adverse effects and patients’ outcomes.

Original languageEnglish
Article number4222
JournalInternational journal of environmental research and public health
Issue number7
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2022
Externally publishedYes


  • preterm birth
  • preterm labor
  • tocolysis
  • tocolytics

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pollution
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
  • Health, Toxicology and Mutagenesis


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