Management of shoulder dystocia: skill retention 6 and 12 months after training

Obstet Gynecol. 2007 Nov;110(5):1069-74. doi: 10.1097/01.AOG.0000286779.41037.38.


Objective: To assess skill retention 6 and 12 months after shoulder dystocia training.

Methods: Midwives and doctors from six United Kingdom hospitals attended a 40-minute workshop on shoulder dystocia management. Participants managed a standardized simulation before and 3 weeks, 6 months, and 12 months afterward. Outcome measures were delivery, head-to-body delivery time, performance of appropriate actions, force applied, and quality of communication.

Results: A total of 122 participants were recruited. One hundred eighteen were evaluated 3 weeks posttraining, for whom follow-up was available for 95 (81%) at 6 months and 82 (70%) at 12 months. Before training, 60 of 122 (49%) achieved delivery, 97 of 118 (82%) were able to deliver after initial training, 80 of 95 (84%) were able to deliver at 6 months, and 75 of 82 (85%) were able to deliver at 12 months. Twenty-one (18%) who could not deliver 3 weeks after training were offered additional training; of these, 11 of 14 (79%) achieved delivery at 12 months. Among those who could deliver 3 weeks posttraining, there was no deterioration in the performance of basic actions, delivery interval, force application, and patient communication. Those who were proficient before initial training performed best at follow-up, but skill retention was also good in those who learned to deliver during initial training. Eighteen percent could not deliver after initial training and required additional individualized tuition; the large majority retained their newly acquired skills at 6 and 12 months.

Conclusion: Overall, training resulted in a sustained improvement in performance. Annual training seems adequate for those already proficient before training, but more frequent rehearsal is advisable for those initially lacking competency until skill acquisition is achieved.

Level of evidence: II.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Clinical Competence
  • Delivery, Obstetric / education*
  • Delivery, Obstetric / methods
  • Dystocia / therapy*
  • Education, Medical, Continuing / methods*
  • Educational Measurement
  • England
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Infant, Newborn
  • Midwifery*
  • Patient Simulation*
  • Physicians*
  • Pregnancy
  • Retention, Psychology
  • Shoulder
  • Wales