Analysis of cesarean section rates using Robson ten group classification system in a tertiary teaching hospital, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia: a cross-sectional study

Ferid A. Abubeker, Biruck Gashawbeza, Thomas Mekuria Gebre, Mekitie Wondafrash, Alula M. Teklu, Demis Degu and Delayehu Bekele



Cesarean section (CS) is an important indicator of access to, and quality of maternal health services. The World Health Organization recommends the Robson ten group classification system as a global standard for assessing, monitoring and comparing CS rates at all levels. This study aimed to assess the rate of CS and perform an analysis based on Robson classification system.


A facility-based cross-sectional study was conducted at a tertiary hospital in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. Data were collected from medical charts of all women who delivered from January-June 2018. The overall CS rate was calculated then women were categorized into one of the ten Robson groups. Relative size of each group, contribution of each group to the overall CS rate, and CS rate within each group were calculated.


A total of 4,200 deliveries were analyzed. Of these 1,459 (34.7%) were CS. The largest contributors to the overall CS rate were Group 10 (19.1%), Group 2 (18.3%), Group 5 (17.1%), and Group 4 (15.8%). There was also a high rate of pre-labor CS in Group 2, Group 4, and Group 10.


Through implementation of the Robson ten group classification system, we identified the contribution of each group to the overall CS rate as well as the CS rate within each group. Group 10 was the leading contributor to the overall CS rate. This study also revealed a high rate of CS among low-risk groups. These target groups require more in-depth analysis to identify possible modifiable factors and to apply specific interventions to reduce the CS rate. Evaluation of existing management protocols and further studies into indications of CS and outcomes are needed to design tailored strategies and improve outcomes.

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