Helping Babies Breathe is an evidence-based curriculum designed to teach basic neonatal resuscitation in low-resource countries. The purpose of this study was to evaluate the acquisition of knowledge and skills following this training and correlation of learner characteristics to performance in a Spanish-speaking setting.
Thirty-one physicians and 39 nurses completed Helping Babies Breathe training at a Honduran community hospital. Trainee knowledge and skills were evaluated before and after the training using a multiple-choice questionnaire, bag-mask ventilation skills test, and two objective structured clinical exams (OSCEs). Linear mixed-effects models were used to analyze assessment scores pre- and post-training by profession (physician or nurse) while controlling for covariates.
Helping Babies Breathe training resulted in significant increases in mean scores for the multiple-choice question test, bag-mask ventilation skills test, and OSCE B. Time to initiation of effective bag-mask ventilation decreased from a mean of 74.8 to 68.4 s. Despite this improvement in bag-mask ventilation, only 42 % of participants were able to initiate effective bag-mask ventilation within the Golden Minute. Although physicians scored higher on the pre-test multiple-choice questions and bag-mask ventilation, nurses demonstrated a greater mean difference in scores after training. OSCE B scores pre- and post-training increased similarly between professions. Nurses’ and physicians’ performance in simulation was not significantly different after the training. Assessment scores and course feedback indicated a need for more skills practice, particularly with bag-mask ventilation.
When evaluated immediately after an initial workshop, Helping Babies Breathe training resulted in significant gains in neonatal resuscitation knowledge and skills. Following training, nurses, who commonly do not perform these skills in real-life situations, were able to perform at a similar level to physicians. Further studies are necessary to determine how to sustain this knowledge and skills over time, tailor the course to learner characteristics, and whether this training translates into improvements in clinical practice.