Paramedic self-efficacy and skill retention in pediatric airway management

Acad Emerg Med. 2008 Dec;15(12):1295-303. doi: 10.1111/j.1553-2712.2008.00262.x. Epub 2008 Oct 25.


Objectives: The objectives were to determine the effect of pediatric airway management training on paramedic self-efficacy and skill performance and to determine which of several retraining methods is superior.

Methods: A total of 2,520 paramedics were trained to proficiency in pediatric bag-mask ventilation (BMV) and endotracheal intubation (ETI) on mannequins. Subjects were a convenience sample of 245 (10% of original cohort) presenting for voluntary retraining. A total of 212 of 245 (87%) completed skills testing. Self-efficacy was measured prior to and following initial training and retraining events. Paramedics were assigned to control (no retraining), videotape presentation, self-directed learning, or instructor-facilitated lecture and demonstration retraining. Following retraining, BMV and ETI skills were tested.

Results: Paramedics from low-call-volume areas reported lower baseline self-efficacy and derived larger increases with training, but also experienced the most decline between training events. Pass rates for BMV and ETI were 66% (139/211) and 42% (88/212), respectively. However, overall cohort self-efficacy was maintained over the study period. In ordinal regression modeling, only the lecture and demonstration method was superior to control, with an odds ratio (OR) of achieving higher scores of 2.5 (95% confidence interval [CI] = 1.2 to 5.2) for BMV and 5.2 (95% CI = 2.4 to 11.2) for ETI. Poor performance with ETI but not BMV was associated with time elapsed since training (p = 0.01). Self-efficacy ratings were not predictive of skill performance.

Conclusions: Training provides increases in self-efficacy, particularly among paramedics from low-call-volume areas. A gap exists between self-efficacy and skill performance, in that self-efficacy may be maintained even when skill performance declines. Pediatric airway skills decay quickly, ETI skills drop off more significantly than BMV skills, and a lecture and demonstration format seems superior to other retraining methods investigated.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Evaluation Study
  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Allied Health Personnel / education*
  • Audiovisual Aids
  • California
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Clinical Competence*
  • Education, Professional, Retraining / methods*
  • Educational Measurement / methods
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Intubation, Intratracheal*
  • Male
  • Manikins
  • Problem-Based Learning / methods
  • Prospective Studies
  • Respiration, Artificial*
  • Self Efficacy*