Helping Mothers Survive: Program Evaluation and Early Outcomes of Maternal Care Training in the Dominican Republic
Frontiers in Public Health
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Introduction: In 2017, approximately 295,000 women died during and immediately following pregnancy and childbirth worldwide, with 94% of these deaths occurring in low-resource settings. The Dominican Republic (DR) exhibits one of the highest maternal mortality ratios in the region of Latin America and the Caribbean despite the fact that 99% of registered births in the country are reportedly attended by a skilled birth attendant. This paradox implies that programs to support healthcare worker knowledge and skills improvement are vital to improving maternal health outcomes in the DR. Helping Mothers Survive (HMS) is a provider training program developed by Jhpiego and global partners. The goal of HMS is to combat maternal mortality by contributing to quality improvement efforts that reinforce maternal health skills of local healthcare workers. Methods: An international, multisectoral group of stakeholders collaborated in the implementation of two HMS curricula, Bleeding After Birth (BAB) and pre-eclampsia & eclampsia (PE&E). Demographic information as well as pre- and post-training knowledge scores were recorded for each participant. Knowledge score improvement was assessed in order to support effectiveness of the program on knowledge acquisition of healthcare workers. Results: Three hundred and twenty healthcare workers participated in the HMS training workshops between October 2016–August 2020. Of the 320 participants, 132 were trained as master trainers. The majority of participants identified as attending physicians, followed by residents/interns, nurses, students, and “other.” A significant improvement in knowledge scores was observed for both the BAB and PE&E curricula, with a 21.24 and 30.25% change in average score (pre- to post-test), respectively. In response to COVID-19 pandemic restrictions, flexibility of the local team led to a PE&E virtual training pilot workshop in August 2020. Discussion/Conclusions: Simulation-based training improved the knowledge levels of healthcare workers for both HMS curricula. These results suggest that simulation-based workshops have an impact on knowledge acquisition and skills of healthcare workers immediately following training. For the PE&E curriculum, no significant difference in knowledge acquisition was observed between in-person and virtual training sessions. The ongoing pandemic poses challenges to program implementation; however, these preliminary results provide evidence that conducting virtual workshops may be a viable alternative to in-person training.
Maternal mortality; COVID-19; Simulation-based training; Helping mothers survive; Maternal health; Pre-eclampsia & eclampsia; Postpartum hemorrhage
Public Health Education and Promotion
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Helping Mothers Survive: Program Evaluation and Early Outcomes of Maternal Care Training in the Dominican Republic.
Frontiers in Public Health, 9