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Educ Health (Abingdon). 2010 Nov;23(3):405. Epub 2010 Oct 20.

Simulation for teaching normal delivery and shoulder dystocia to midwives in training.

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Simulation Centre, Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, Faculty of Medicine, University of Porto, Portugal.



The cognitive impact of using simulation sessions in midwifery training has not been the subject of previous research. The aim of this study was to compare the effect on students' knowledge of a simulation session versus an image-based lecture, for teaching routine management of normal delivery and resolution of shoulder dystocia to midwives in training.


Sixty students were enrolled three weeks after a "labour and delivery" class, and randomly assigned to two groups. Ten were subsequently excluded as they were not able to attend the whole session and/or did not complete the tests. In the simulation group (n=26), students were divided into pairs and attended a 30-minute hands-on session in the simulation centre. In the lecture group (n=24), students participated in a 30-minute image-based interactive lecture. A ten-question multiple-choice test was taken before (pre-test) and after (post-test) both sessions, to evaluate students' knowledge of labour and delivery and shoulder dystocia. Learner satisfaction was evaluated by adding a six question Likert scale questionnaire to the post-test. Independent t-test, paired samples t-test, and Mann-Whitney test were used for statistical analysis, setting significance at p<0.05.


The simulation group showed a significantly higher mean post-test score (6.38 vs. 5.16; p=0.003) and a significantly greater inter-test score progression (p<0.0001). Overall learner satisfaction was also higher in this group (p=0.0001).


A significantly higher short-term reinforcement of knowledge and greater learner satisfaction was obtained using simulation sessions compared to image-based lectures when teaching routine management of normal delivery and resolution of shoulder dystocia to midwives in training.

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