Exploratory randomized controlled trial of hybrid obstetric simulation training for undergraduate students

Simul Healthc. 2010 Aug;5(4):193-8. doi: 10.1097/SIH.0b013e3181d3ee0b.


Background: Introducing novel methods in undergraduate teaching of obstetrics and gynecology has been recommended. High-fidelity simulation of shoulder dystocia has been shown to improve skills of qualified maternity staff. We aimed to assess whether simulation is also useful for improving medical students' skills.

Methods: Twenty-four medical students were recruited. Training consisted of a high-fidelity simulation teaching session for all 24 students and a refresher session for which the same students were randomly allocated to two groups. Half attended a small-group tutorial (SGT) and half a simulation session with a patient-actor (hybrid simulation, HYB). Afterward, they were asked to deliver a baby with simulated shoulder dystocia. We assessed their practical skills and compared communication skills between SGT and HYB. Primary outcome measure was their communication score, using a validated scale. Secondary measure was the students' ability to deliver the baby appropriately.

Results: Posttraining, all students managed delivery appropriately. Group HYB had significantly higher median total patient perception scores (11 simulation versus 9 tutorial, P = 0.0239, Mann-Whitney) than SGT.

Conclusion: High-fidelity simulation can be used to train and evaluate learning. The use of patient-actors during simulation improves students' communication skills. Future research should assess whether this translates into better communication with real patients.

Publication types

  • Randomized Controlled Trial

MeSH terms

  • Clinical Competence
  • Communication
  • Dystocia*
  • Education, Medical, Undergraduate / methods*
  • Educational Measurement
  • Educational Status
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Models, Educational
  • Obstetrics / education*
  • Obstetrics / methods
  • Patient Simulation*
  • Pregnancy
  • Students, Medical / statistics & numerical data*
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • Teaching / methods*
  • United Kingdom