Retention of factual knowledge after practical training for intrapartum emergencies

Int J Gynaecol Obstet. 2013 Oct;123(1):81-5. doi: 10.1016/j.ijgo.2013.04.015. Epub 2013 Jul 11.


Objective: To determine knowledge retention 1 year after training for intrapartum emergencies.

Methods: Training was undertaken in 6 hospitals and the Bristol Medical Simulation Centre, UK, between November 2004 and March 2005. Participants (22 junior and 23 senior doctors, 47 junior and 48 senior midwives) were randomly recruited from participating hospitals and underwent practical training at their local hospital or simulation center with or without additional teamwork training. The primary outcome was change in factual knowledge over time, as assessed by a 185-question multiple-choice questionnaire before and after training.

Results: Mean scores at 6 (97.6 ± 23.0; n = 107) and 12 (98.2 ± 21.6; n = 98) months remained higher than those before training (79.6 ± 21.9, n = 140; both P < 0.001), but were slightly lower than those immediately after training (101.0 ± 21.3, n = 133; P < 0.001 and P = 0.007, respectively). The type of training had no effect on retention of knowledge.

Conclusion: Training was associated with sustained retention of factual knowledge of obstetric emergencies care for at least 1 year. The decay in knowledge was small compared with the original gain in knowledge. Neither training location nor inclusion of teamwork training affected knowledge retention. Annual training seemed to be satisfactory for all staff groups.

Keywords: Knowledge retention; Medical education; Obstetric emergencies; Simulation; Training.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Clinical Competence*
  • Educational Measurement
  • Emergency Medicine / education*
  • Female
  • Health Knowledge, Attitudes, Practice*
  • Humans
  • Midwifery / education
  • Obstetrics / education
  • Patient Care Team / organization & administration
  • Pregnancy
  • Pregnancy Complications / therapy*
  • Prospective Studies
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • Time Factors