Prediction models of vaginal birth after cesarean delivery: A systematic review

Bo Deng, Yan Li, Jia Yin Chen, Jun Guo, Jing Tan, Yang Yang, Ning Liu

Research output: Journal article publicationReview articleAcademic researchpeer-review


Background: Cesarean section rates are rising in the world. Women with a history of cesarean section will select a cesarean section at the next pregnancy. An objective and accurate prediction about the success rate of vaginal delivery after cesarean section can help women to reduce the complications caused by cesarean section, shorten the time spent in the hospital, and effectively plan medical resources. Objective: To systematically review and critically assess the existing prediction models of vaginal delivery after cesarean section. Methods: Some databases (PubMed, Web of Science, EMBASE, the Cochrane Library, Cumulative Index to Nursing and Allied Health Literature) were searched from 2000 to 2021 for studies regarding the prediction model of vaginal birth after cesarean delivery. The researchers successively conducted independent literature screening, data extraction and quality evaluation of the included literature, and then utilized the Prediction model Risk of Bias Assessment Tool to assess the methodological quality of the models in the included studies. Results: A total of 33 studies were included, in which 20 prediction models were identified. Sixteen studies involved external validation of existing models (Grobman's models). In the 20 prediction models, 12 were internally validated, only three had external validation, and seven models were not explicitly reported, with the area under the curve ranging from 0.660 to 0.953; The most common predictors included in the model were body mass index and previous vaginal delivery, followed by maternal age, previous cesarean delivery indication, history of vaginal birth after cesarean, fetal weight, and Bishop's score, gestational age, history of vaginal birth after cesarean, maternal race; The prediction effect of Grobman's model was validated in multiple external populations; The majority of the studies(n = 27) had high risk of bias in the of the Prediction model Risk of Bias Assessment Tool. Conclusions: This review provides obstetricians and midwives with important information about the prediction models of vaginal birth after cesarean section, which has been reported optimistic predictive performance and acceptable predictive power. However, the majority of the development studies have methodological limitations, which may hinder the widely application of these models by obstetricians. Further studies are supposed to develop predictive models with low risk of bias, and conduct internal and external validation, providing pragmatic and practical predictions to obstetricians. PROSPERO registration number: CRD42022299048.

Original languageEnglish
Article number104359
JournalInternational Journal of Nursing Studies
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2022


  • Prediction model
  • Risk prediction
  • Systematic review
  • Vaginal birth after cesarean

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Nursing(all)


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