Objectives 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.
Design A prospective randomised controlled trial.
Setting Training was completed in six hospitals in the South West of England, UK and at the Bristol Medical Simulation Centre, UK.
Population 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.
Methods 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 3 weeks before and 3 weeks after the training intervention.
Results 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).
Conclusions 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.