Study protocol training for life: a stepped wedge cluster randomized trial about emergency obstetric simulation-based training in a low-income country

A A C van Tetering (Corresponding author), A van Meurs, P Ntuyo, M B van der Hout-van der Jagt, L G M Mulders, B Nolens, I Namagambe, A Nakimuli, J Byamugisha, S G Oei

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

Abstract

BACKGROUND: Globally perinatal and maternal mortality rates remain unacceptably high. There is increasing evidence that simulation-based training in obstetric emergencies is associated with improvement in clinical outcomes. However, the results are not entirely consistent. The need for continued research in a wide variety of clinical settings to establish what works, where and why was recommended. The aim of this study is to investigate the effectiveness of an emergency obstetric simulation-based training program with medical technical and teamwork skills on maternal and perinatal mortality in a low-income country.

METHODS: A stepped wedge cluster randomized trial will be conducted at the medium to high-risk labour ward at Mulago Hospital, Kampala, Uganda, with an annual delivery rate of over 23,000. The training will be performed using a train-the-trainers model in which training is cascaded down from master trainers to local facilitators (gynaecologists) to learners (senior house officers). Local facilitators will be trained during a four-day train-the-trainers course with an annual repetition. The senior house officers will be naturally divided in seven clusters and randomized for the moment of training. The training consists of a one-day, monodisciplinary, simulation-based training followed by repetition training sessions. Scenarios are based on the main local causes of maternal and neonatal mortality and focus on both medical technical and crew resource management skills. Kirkpatrick's classification will be used to evaluate the training program. Primary outcome will be the composite of maternal and neonatal mortality ratios. Secondary outcome will comprise course perception, evaluation of the instructional design of the training, knowledge, technical skills, team performance, percentage of ventouse deliveries, percentage of caesarean sections, and a Weighted Adverse Outcome Score.

DISCUSSION: This stepped wedge cluster randomized trial will investigate the effect of a monodisciplinary simulation-based obstetric training in a low-income country, focusing on both medical technical skills and crew resource management skills, on patient outcome at one of the largest labour wards worldwide. We will use a robust study design which will allow us to better understand the training effects, and difficulties in evaluating training programs in low-income countries.

TRIAL REGISTRATION: ISRCTN98617255 , retrospectively registered July 23, 2018.

Original languageEnglish
Article number429
Number of pages10
JournalBMC Pregnancy and Childbirth
Volume20
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 28 Jul 2020

Keywords

  • Low- and middle-income countries
  • Medical education
  • Obstetrics
  • Patient outcome
  • Simulation training
  • Teamwork

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