This paper reviews evidence regarding change in health-care provider behaviour and maternal and neonatal outcomes as a result of emergency obstetric and neonatal care (EmONC) training. A refined version of the Kirkpatrick classification for programme evaluation was used to focus on change in efficiency and impact of training (levels 3 and 4). Twenty-three studies were reviewed - five randomised controlled trials, two quasi-experimental studies and 16 before-and-after observational studies. Training programmes had all been developed in high-income countries and adapted for use in low- and middle-income countries. Nine studies reported on behaviour change and 13 on process and patient outcomes. Most showed positive results. Every maternity unit should provide EmONC teamwork training, mandatory for all health-care providers. The challenges are as follows: scaling up such training to all institutions, sustaining regular in-service training, integrating training into institutional and health-system patient safety initiatives and 'thinking out of the box' in evaluation research.
Keywords: Kirkpatrick levels of programme evaluation; emergency obstetric care; maternal mortality and morbidity; neonatal mortality and morbidity; patient outcomes; team training.
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