Background The learning process of physiological mechanisms of childbirth and its management are important elements in the education of medical students. In this study, we verify how the use of a high-fidelity simulator of childbirth improves competence of students in this regard.
Methods A total of 132 medical students were recruited for the study in order to attend a physiological childbirth in a no-hospital environment after being assigned to two groups. The control group received only a normal cycle of lectures, while the simulation (SIM) group followed a specific training session on the simulator. Subsequently, both groups were assessed for their technical and non-technical skills in a simulated childbirth. Also, a self-assessment test regarding their self-confidence was administrated before and after simulation, and repeated after 8 weeks.
Results The SIM group showed better performance in all the domains with a better comprehension of the mechanisms of childbirth, managing and assistance of labour and delivery. In addition, compared to the control group, they presented a better self-related awareness and self-assurance regarding the possibility of facing a birth by themselves.
Conclusion The present study demonstrated that the use of a high-fidelity simulator for medical students allows a significant improvement in the acquisition of theoretical and technical expertise to assist a physiological birth.
- technical skills
- no-technical skills
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Contributors PM: designed data collection tools, monitored data collection for the whole study, analysed the data, drafted and revised the paper. He is the PI of the study and is guarantor. MMMG: wrote the statistical analysis plan, cleaned and analysed the data. RA, MC, GP and AG: executed simulations and collected data. AC and FP: monitored data collection, analysed the data and revised the paper. TS: coordinated the entire project and he is guarantor.
Funding This research received no specific grant from any funding agency in the public, commercial or not-for-profit sectors.
Competing interests None declared.
Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.
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