Resuscitation skills after Helping Babies Breathe training: a comparison of varying practice frequency and impact on retention of skills in different types of providers

Int Health. 2018 May 1;10(3):163-171. doi: 10.1093/inthealth/ihy017.


Background: Helping Babies Breathe (HBB), a basic neonatal resuscitation curriculum, improves early neonatal mortality in low-resource settings. Our goal was to determine retention of resuscitation skills by different cadres of providers using the approved HBB Spanish translation in a rural clinic and community hospital in Honduras.

Methods: Twelve clinic and 37 hospital providers were trained in 1 d HBB workshops and followed from July 2012 to February 2014. Resuscitation skills were evaluated by objective structured clinical evaluations (OSCEs) at regular intervals. Clinic providers practiced monthly, whereas hospital providers were randomized to monthly practice for 6 months vs three consecutive practices at 3, 5 and 6 months.

Results: In the rural clinic, follow-up OSCE assessment showed rapid loss of skills by 1 month after HBB training. For all providers, repeated monthly testing resulted in improvements and maintenance of OSCE performance. In the community hospital, over all time points, the group with monthly OSCEs had 2.9 greater odds of passing compared with the group who practiced less frequently. Physicians were found to have 4.3 times greater odds of passing compared with nurses.

Conclusions: Rapid loss of resuscitation skills occurs after an initial training. Repeated practice leads to retention of skills in all types of providers. Further investigation is warranted to determine the clinical correlation of neonatal outcomes after HBB training.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Asphyxia Neonatorum / therapy*
  • Clinical Competence*
  • Curriculum
  • Female
  • Health Personnel / education*
  • Health Personnel / statistics & numerical data
  • Honduras
  • Hospitals, Community
  • Humans
  • Infant, Newborn
  • Male
  • Program Evaluation
  • Resuscitation / education*
  • Rural Health Services