National Perinatal Epidemiology Unit, Radcliffe Infirmary, Oxford, UK.
A postal questionnaire concerned with prescribing antenatal corticosteroids was sent to one named clinician at each of 279 obstetric units in the UK. They were asked whether their unit prescribed repeated courses, the indications for which these would be prescribed, the interval between courses, the drugs and regimens used and whether they would be willing to participate in a proposed randomised controlled trial. The response rate was 75%. Of the respondents, 98% prescribed repeated courses; the indications most commonly cited by units who prescribed steroids were prelabour spontaneous rupture of membranes (84.2%) and suspected preterm labour (81.8%). 70.6% of units were willing to participate in the proposed trial.