The improvement and retention of skills in shoulder dystocia management with the use of high-fidelity simulation: the SAFE (SimulAtion high-FidElity) study (2024)

Type of publication:
Journal article

*Papoutsis, Dimitrios; Klazoglou, Paraskevi; Valasoulis, George; Tzavara, Chara.

Women & Birth: Journal of the Australian College of Midwives. 101590, 2024 Feb 16.

BACKGROUND: Shoulder dystocia is a relatively uncommon but serious childbirth-related emergency. AIM: To explore the improvement and retention of skills in shoulder dystocia management through high-fidelity simulation training. METHODS: The SAFE (SimulAtion high-FidElity) study was a prospective cohort study that utilised a high-fidelity birth simulator. Registered midwives and final year midwifery students were invited to participate in a one-day workshop at 6-monthly intervals. There was a 30-minute initial assessment, a 30-minute theoretical and hands-on training, and a 30-minute post-training assessment on shoulder dystocia management. Pre-training and post-training values for the predetermined outcomes were compared. In each workshop we assessed the proportion of successful simulated births, the performance of manoeuvres to manage shoulder dystocia, the head-to-body birth time, the fetal head traction force, the quality of communication, the perception of time-to-birth, and the self-reported confidence levels. FINDINGS: The baseline workshop recruited 101 participants that demonstrated a significant increase in the proportion of successful simulated births (8.9% vs 93.1%), and a two-fold to three-fold increase in the score of manoeuvres, communication, and confidence after training. Those with low pre-training levels of competency and confidence improved the most post-training at baseline. There was a retention of manoeuvres, communication skills and confidence at 6 months. There was no reduction in fetal head traction force over time. Those being proficient before initial training retained and performed best at the 6-month follow-up. CONCLUSION: The SAFE study found a significant improvement in skills and confidence after the initial high-fidelity simulation training that were retained after 6 months.