Prospective randomized trial of simulation versus didactic teaching for obstetrical emergencies

Kay Daniels, Julie Arafeh, Ana Clark, Sarah Waller, Maurice Druzin, Jane Chueh
Simulation in Healthcare: Journal of the Society for Simulation in Healthcare 2010, 5 (1): 40-5

INTRODUCTION: The objective of this study was to determine whether simulation was more effective than traditional didactic instruction to train crisis management skills to labor and delivery teams.

METHODS: Participants were nurses and obstetric residents (<5 years experience). Both groups were taught management for shoulder dystocia and eclampsia. The simulation group received 3 hours of training in a simulation laboratory, the didactic group received 3 hours of lectures/video and hands-on demonstration. Subjects completed a multiple-choice questionnaire before training and before testing. After 1 month, all teams underwent performance testing as a labor and delivery drill. All drills were video recorded. Team performances were scored by a blinded reviewer using the video recordings and an expert-developed checklist. The data were analyzed using independent samples Student t test and analysis of variance (one way). P value of < or =0.05 was considered to be statistically significant.

RESULTS: There was no statistical difference found between the groups on the pretraining and pretesting multiple-choice questionnaire scores. Performance testing performed as a labor and delivery drill showed statistically significant higher scores for the simulation-trained group for both shoulder dystocia (Sim = 11.75, Did = 6.88, P = 0.002) and eclampsia management (Sim = 13.25, Did = 11.38, P = 0.032).

CONCLUSIONS: In an academic training program, didactic and simulation-trained groups showed equal results on written test scores. Simulation-trained teams had superior performance scores when tested in a labor and delivery drill. Simulation should be used to enhance obstetrical emergency training in resident education.

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