Retention of neonatal resuscitation skills and knowledge: a randomized controlled trial.
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BACKGROUND AND OBJECTIVES: This study compared the effectiveness of two booster strategies designed to improve retention of skills and knowledge in neonatal resuscitation by family practice residents. METHODS: Residents were randomly allocated to one of three groups: video, hands on, or control. Residents in the two experimental groups received a "booster" 3-5 months after the Neonatal Resuscitation Program (NRP) course. All participants completed the follow-up test 6-8 months after taking the course. The main outcome measures consisted of the NRP written examination and the performance checklists. RESULTS: A total of 44 residents completed the study (video, n = 13; hands-on, n = 14; control, n = 17). Overall, participants had significantly lower scores at follow-up than at baseline, indicating deterioration in both neonatal skills and knowledge. Residents in the hands-on booster group made significantly fewer errors across all five checklists in life-supporting but not in lifesaving scores than those allocated to the control and video groups. CONCLUSIONS: The beneficial effect of mannequin practice or video boosters on skills and knowledge retention was less than what had been anticipated, and no benefit could be demonstrated in comparison to the control group. Deteriorating knowledge and skills remain a major concern, since boostering by hands-on or video at 3-5 months do not seem to have an impact on the retention of knowledge or lifesaving skills.
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