Change in knowledge of midwives and obstetricians following obstetric emergency training: a randomised controlled trial of local hospital, simulation centre and teamwork training

BJOG. 2007 Dec;114(12):1534-41. doi: 10.1111/j.1471-0528.2007.01493.x. Epub 2007 Sep 27.


Objectives: To explore the effect of obstetric emergency training on knowledge. Furthermore, to assess if acquisition of knowledge is influenced by the training setting or teamwork training.

Design: A prospective randomised controlled trial.

Setting: Training was completed in six hospitals in the South West of England, UK and at the Bristol Medical Simulation Centre, UK.

Population: Midwives and obstetric doctors working for the participating hospitals were eligible for inclusion in the study. A total of 140 participants (22 junior and 23 senior doctors, 47 junior and 48 senior midwives) were studied.

Methods: Participants were randomised to one of four obstetric emergency training interventions: (1) 1-day course at local hospital, (2) 1-day course at simulation centre, (3) 2-day course with teamwork training at local hospital and (4) 2-day course with teamwork training at simulation centre.

Main outcome measures: Change in knowledge was assessed by a 185 question Multiple-Choice Questionnaire (MCQ) completed up to 3 weeks before and 3 weeks after the training intervention.

Results: There was a significant increase in knowledge following training; mean MCQ score increased by 20.6 points (95% CI 18.1-23.1, P < 0.001). Overall, 123/133 (92.5%) participants increased their MCQ score. There was no significant effect on the MCQ score of either the location of training (two-way analysis of variants P = 0.785) or the inclusion of teamwork training (P = 0.965).

Conclusions: Practical, multiprofessional, obstetric emergency training increased midwives' and doctors' knowledge of obstetric emergency management. Furthermore, neither the location of training, in a simulation centre or in local hospitals, nor the inclusion of teamwork training made any significant difference to the acquisition of knowledge in obstetric emergencies.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Clinical Competence / standards*
  • Emergency Medicine / education*
  • England
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Interprofessional Relations
  • Midwifery / education*
  • Nurse Midwives / education
  • Nurse Midwives / standards*
  • Obstetrics / education*
  • Obstetrics / standards
  • Patient Care Team
  • Prospective Studies