Training for shoulder dystocia: a trial of simulation using low-fidelity and high-fidelity mannequins

Obstet Gynecol. 2006 Dec;108(6):1477-85. doi: 10.1097/01.AOG.0000246801.45977.c8.


Objective: To evaluate the effectiveness of simulation training for shoulder dystocia management and compare training using a high-fidelity mannequin with that using traditional devices.

Methods: Training was undertaken in six hospitals and a medical simulation center in the United Kingdom. Midwives and obstetricians working for participating hospitals were eligible for inclusion. One hundred forty participants (45 doctors, 95 midwives) were randomized to training with a high-fidelity training mannequin (incorporating force perception training) or traditional low-fidelity mannequins. Performance was assessed pre- and posttraining, using a videoed, standardized shoulder dystocia simulation. Outcome measures were delivery, head-to-body delivery time, use of appropriate and inappropriate actions, force applied, and communication.

Results: One hundred thirty-two participants completed the posttraining assessment. All training was associated with improved performance: use of basic maneuvers 114 of 140 (81.4%) to 125 of 132 (94.7%) (P=.002), successful deliveries 60 of 140 (42.9%) to 110 of 132 (83.3%) (P<.001), good communication with the patient 79 of 139 (56.8%) to 109 of 132 (82.6%) (P<.001), pre- and posttraining, respectively. Training with the high-fidelity mannequin was associated with a higher successful delivery rate than training with traditional devices: 94% compared with 72% (odds ratio 6.53, 95% confidence interval 2.05-20.81; P=.002). Total applied force was significantly lower for those who had undergone force training (2,030 Newton seconds versus 2,916 Newton seconds; P=.006) but there was no significant difference in the peak applied force 102 Newtons versus 112 Newtons (P=.242).

Conclusion: This study verifies the need for shoulder dystocia training; before training only 43% participants could achieve delivery. All training with mannequins improved the management of simulated shoulder dystocia. Training on a high-fidelity mannequin, including force perception teaching, offered additional training benefits.

Level of evidence: I.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Randomized Controlled Trial
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Dystocia / therapy*
  • Education, Medical, Continuing
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Manikins*
  • Midwifery / education
  • Obstetrics / education
  • Outcome Assessment, Health Care
  • Patient Simulation
  • Pregnancy
  • Shoulder
  • Videotape Recording