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Evaluating the impact of a maternity and neonatal emergencies education programme in Australian regional and rural health services on clinician knowledge and confidence: a pre-test post-test study

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INTRODUCTION: Almost 78 000 women gave birth in the state of Victoria, Australia, in 2019. While most births occurred in metropolitan Melbourne and large regional centres, a significant proportion of women birthed in rural services. In late 2016, to support clinicians to recognise and respond to clinical deterioration, the Victorian government mandated provision of an emergency training programme, called Maternity and Newborn Emergencies (MANE), to rural and regional maternity services across the state. This paper describes the evaluation of MANE. DESIGN AND SETTING: A quasi-experimental study design was used; the Kirkpatrick Evaluation Model provided the framework. PARTICIPANTS: Participants came from the 17 rural and regional Victorian maternity services who received MANE in 2018 and/or 2019. OUTCOME MEASURES: Baseline data were collected from MANE attendees before MANE delivery, and at four time points up to 12 months post-delivery. Clinicians' knowledge of the MANE learning objectives, and confidence ratings regarding the emergencies covered in MANE were evaluated. The Safety Attitudes Questionnaire (SAQ) assessed safety climate pre-MANE and 6 months post-MANE among all maternity providers at the sites. RESULTS: Immediately post-MANE, most attendees reported increased confidence to escalate clinical concerns (n=251/259). Knowledge in the non-technical and practical aspects of the programme increased. Management of perinatal emergencies was viewed as equally stressful pre-MANE and post-MANE, but confidence to manage these emergencies increased post-delivery. Pre-MANE SAQ scores showed consistently strong and poor performing services. Six months post-MANE, some services showed improvements in SAQ scores indicative of improved safety climate. CONCLUSION: MANE delivery resulted in both short-term and sustained improvements in knowledge of, and confidence in, maternity emergencies. Further investigation of the SAQ across Victoria may facilitate identification of services with a poor safety climate who could benefit from frequent targeted interventions (such as the MANE programme) at these sites.


' This work was supported by the Victorian Department of Health.


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BMJ Open





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BMJ Publishing Group



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© Author(s) (or their employer(s)) 2022. Re-use permitted under CC BY-NC. No commercial re-use. See rights and permissions. Published by BMJ. This is an open access article distributed in accordance with the Creative Commons Attribution Non Commercial (CC BY-NC 4.0) license, which permits others to distribute, remix, adapt, build upon this work non-commercially, and license their derivative works on different terms, provided the original work is properly cited, appropriate credit is given, any changes made indicated, and the use is non-commercial. See: