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Developing and evaluating an online learning tool to improve midwives’ accuracy of visual estimation of blood loss during waterbirth: an experimental study

Burns, Ethel; Hunter, Louise; Rodd, Zoe; MacLeod, Megan; Smith, Lesley

Authors

Ethel Burns

Louise Hunter

Zoe Rodd

Megan MacLeod

Lesley Smith



Abstract

Objective
The principal objective was to test the effectiveness of an online learning tool to improve midwives’ accuracy of blood loss estimations in a birthing pool environment. The secondary objective was to assess the acceptability of the online learning tool to the midwives using it.

Design
A one group pre-test, post-test experiment with immediate and six weeks follow-up to test ability together with an online questionnaire to assess perceived usefulness of an online learning tool.

Setting
A large NHS maternity hospital comprising an acute care obstetric unit, a small district unit labour ward, one alongside midwifery-led unit and three freestanding midwifery-led units.

Participants
Volunteer NHS employed midwives who had experience in caring for women labouring and giving birth in water (n = 24).

Intervention
An online learning tool comprising six randomly ordered short video simulations of blood loss in a birthing pool in real time, and a tutorial giving verbal and pictorial guidance on making accurate blood loss estimations in water was developed then piloted. Midwives’ accuracy scores for estimating blood loss in each of the videos were calculated at three timepoints; pre and immediately post the learning component, and six weeks later. The estimated blood loss volume was subtracted from the actual blood loss volume, to give the difference between estimated and real blood loss in millilitres (ml) which was then converted to percentage difference to standardise comparison across the six volumes. The differences between pre- and post-learning for each of the six blood volumes was analysed using a repeated measures ANOVA. Statistical significance was set at p  < 0.05. An online questionnaire incorporated questions using Likert scales to gauge confidence and competence and free text. Free text responses were analysed using a modified form of inductive content analysis.

Findings
Twenty-two midwives completed the online learning and immediate post-test, 14 completed a post-test after six weeks, and 15 responded to the online questionnaire. Pre-test results showed under-estimation of all blood loss volumes and particularly for the two largest volumes (1000 and 1100 ml). Across all volumes, accuracy of estimation was significantly improved at post-test 1. Accuracy diminished slightly, but overall improvement remained, at post-test 2. Participants rated the online tool positively and made suggestions for refining it.

Key conclusions and implications for practice
This is the first study measuring the accuracy of midwives’ blood loss estimations in a birthing pool using real-time simulations and testing the effectiveness of an online learning tool to improve this important skill. Our findings indicate a need to develop interventions to improve midwives’ accuracy at visually estimating blood loss in water, and the potential of an online approach. Most women who labour and/or give birth in water do so in midwifery-led settings without immediate access to medical support. Accuracy in blood loss estimations is an essential core skill.

Journal Article Type Article
Publication Date 2019-01
Journal Midwifery
Print ISSN 0266-6138
Electronic ISSN 1532-3099
Publisher Elsevier
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 68
Pages 65-73
APA6 Citation Burns, E., Hunter, L., Rodd, Z., MacLeod, M., & Smith, L. (2019). Developing and evaluating an online learning tool to improve midwives’ accuracy of visual estimation of blood loss during waterbirth: an experimental study. Midwifery, 68, 65-73. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.midw.2018.10.004
DOI https://doi.org/10.1016/j.midw.2018.10.004
Keywords Waterbirth; Blood loss estimations; Video simulations; Online learning tool; Experimental study; Longitudinal
Publisher URL https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S0266613818303036?via%3Dihub
Related Public URLs https://radar.brookes.ac.uk/radar/items/6936e6e8-0632-4cec-99e7-7c6c0927198c/1/
Additional Information This article is maintained by: Elsevier; Article Title: Developing and evaluating an online learning tool to improve midwives’ accuracy of visual estimation of blood loss during waterbirth: An experimental study; Journal Title: Midwifery; CrossRef DOI link to publisher maintained version: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.midw.2018.10.004; Content Type: article; Copyright: © 2018 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

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Copyright Statement
©2020. This manuscript version is made available under the CC-BY-NC-ND 4.0 license http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/4.0/





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