‡ Change in knowledge of midwives and obstetricians following obstetric emergency training: a randomised controlled trial of local hospital, simulation centre and teamwork training

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To explore the effect of obstetric emergency training on knowledge. Furthermore, to assess if acquisition of knowledge is influenced by the training, setting or teamwork training.


A prospective randomised controlled trial.


Training was completed in six hospitals in the South West of England, UK and at the Bristol Medical Simulation Centre, UK.


Midwives and obstetric doctors working for the participating hospitals were eligible for inclusion in the study. A total of 140 participants (22 junior and 23 senior doctors, 47 junior and 48 senior midwives) were studied.


Participants were randomised to one of four obstetric emergency training interventions: (1) 1-day course at local hospital, (2) 1-day course at simulation centre, (3) 2-day course with teamwork training at local hospital and (4) 2-day course with teamwork training at simulation centre.

Main outcome measures:

Change in knowledge was assessed by a 185 question Multiple-Choice Questionnaire (MCQ) completed up to three weeks before and three weeks after the training intervention.


There was a significant increase in knowledge following training; mean MCQ score increased by 20.6 points (95% CI 18.1-23.1, P < 0.001). Overall, 123/133 (92.5%) participants increased their MCQ score. There was no significant effect on the MCQ score of either the location of training (two-way analysis of variants P = 0.785) or the inclusion of teamwork training (P = 0.965).


Practical, multiprofessional, obstetric emergency training increased midwives' and doctors' knowledge of obstetric emergency management. Furthermore, neither the location of training, in a simulation centre or in local hospitals, nor the inclusion of teamwork training made any significant difference to the acquisition of knowledge in obstetric emergencies.

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