Article Text

Simulation of childbirth improves clinical management capacity and self-confidence in medical students
  1. Paolo Mannella1,
  2. Rachele Antonelli1,
  3. María Magdalena Montt-Guevara1,
  4. Marta Caretto1,
  5. Giulia Palla1,
  6. Andrea Giannini1,
  7. Federica Pancetti1,
  8. Armando Cuttano2,
  9. Tommaso Simoncini1
  1. 1Division of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Department of Clinical and Experimental Medicine, University of Pisa, Pisa, Italy
  2. 2Division of Neonatology, Azienda Ospedaliera Universitaria Pisana, Pisa, Italy
  1. Correspondence to Professor Paolo Mannella, Division of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Department of Clinical and Experimental Medicine, University of Pisa, Pisa 56126, Italy; paolo.mannella{at}


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.

  • simulation
  • childbirth
  • 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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