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S Afr Med J. 1995 Mar;85(3):150-3.

The impact of the Perinatal Education Programme on cognitive knowledge in midwives.

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  • 1Department of Paediatrics and Child Health, University of Cape Town.



To determine whether the Maternal Care and Newborn Care manuals from the Perinatal Education Programme significantly improves the cognitive knowledge of midwives.


Assessment of cognitive knowledge by means of multiple-choice testing. These tests were conducted before and after each of the 30 units of the Programme. In addition, a multiple-choice examination was arranged on completion of each of the two manuals.


Level I, II and III hospitals and level I clinics in urban and rural areas of South Africa.


One hundred and fourteen midwives from hospitals and clinics.


Maternal and Newborn Care manuals of the Perinatal Education Programme, studied at home and later discussed by the participants in groups every few weeks.


Number of participants who completed a manual, mean results of the pretests and post-tests, mean results of the final examination, and percentage of participants achieving 80% or more in the pretests, post-tests and final examination.


Mean pretest and post-test results for the Maternal Care manual were 65% and 85% respectively. Mean pretest and post-test results for the Newborn Care manual were 72% and 93% respectively. The mean result for the final examination for the Maternal Care manual was 90%, while the mean result for the Newborn Care manual was 95%. There was a significant improvement in cognitive knowledge when either manual was used.


The cognitive knowledge of both maternal and newborn care can be significantly improved when midwives use the Perinatal Education Programme in an outreach, co-operative learning course.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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