Purpose: Episiotomy is still the most common surgical procedure performed on women, despite the evidence against its routine use. This cross-sectional study was conducted to determine the practice and predictors of routine episiotomy on primigravidae in Oman. Methods: Demographic data, reasons for and rate of performing routine episiotomies, and perceptions of 269 obstetricians, midwives and nurses from 11 hospitals in Oman regarding the procedure were recorded and analyzed. Results: The rate of episiotomies was 66%. In terms of performing routine episiotomies (p <0.05): non-Omanis were 4.49 times more likely than Omanis; bachelor's degree-holders were 2.26 more likely than diploma-holders; and regional hospitals were 2.36 times more likely than tertiary hospitals. The majority perceived episiotomies "reduce spontaneous perineal tearing risk", "reduce shoulder dystocia complications", and allow for "easier suturing". Conclusion: The rate of episiotomies was higher than other similar contexts. An urgent intervention is necessary to curb this excessive practice, and create a culture of evidence-based practice to deal with misleading perceptions.
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