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Training in obstetric and neonatal emergencies in Mexico: effect on knowledge and self-efficacy by gender, age, shift, and profession



Continuing education is essential for healthcare workers. Education interventions can help to maintain and improve competency and confidence in the technical skills necessary to address adverse events. However, characteristics of the health provider such as age (related to more critical and reflexive attitude); sex (relationship with gender socialization), profession and work conditions might have an influence on the effect of continuing education efforts.


A training in the management of obstetric and neonatal emergencies (PRONTO, Spanish acronym for Neonatal and Obstetric Rescue Program: Optimal and Timely treatment) was implemented in 14 hospitals in six Mexican states between 2013 and 2014, with a before-after evaluation design. A total of 351 health providers including physicians, interns, nurses and midwives completed the training and were included in the analytic sample. Mixed-effects regression models were fitted to model changes in knowledge and self-efficacy scores after the training for each training topic. Interaction terms of training with age, gender, profession, and shift were included to evaluate possible heterogeneities of effect. All models considered the within-hospital clustering of participants.


After training, all participants showed a significant knowledge gain by an average of 19 percentage points for hemorrhage, 23 for neonatal resuscitation, 19 for shoulder dystocia, and 15 for preeclampsia/eclampsia (p < 0.001). Participants who worked night shifts showed lower scores for overall knowledge, compared with morning shift workers. Interns perceived the lowest self-efficacy while they scored very high in knowledge. Self-efficacy in managing obstetric and neonatal emergencies increased significantly by 16 percentage points in average.


Our results show that PRONTO is generally successful in increasing knowledge and self-efficacy on all topics but knowledge and self efficacy levels vary greatly by factors such as work shift. Training should be particularly aimed at personnel working during weekends and night shifts, as well as interns and nurses.

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