Comparison of two training strategies for essential newborn care in Brazil

S. A. Vidal, L. Ronfani, S. Da Mota Silveira, M. J. Mello, E. R. Dos Santos, R. Buzzetti, A. Cattaneo

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Objective: To compare the effectiveness of two training strategies for improving essential newborn care in the state of Pernambuco, Brazil. Methods: Eight hospitals were selected, divided into two groups of four, and paired by geographical, structural, and functional characteristics. Doctors and nurses working at hospitals in Group 1 were given a conventional 5-day training course. Those in Group 2 were given the same manual used by Group 1 but the training course was organized as self-directed learning, with the participants having 5 weeks to complete the course. Participants' knowledge was tested at baseline, immediately after the course, and 3-6 months later. Participants' practices were observed before training and 3-6 months after training during 20 births and by interviewing 20 mothers before discharge at each hospital. Findings: Not all participants completed all of the tests. The scores on the tests of knowledge improved more among those in Group 2 than those in Group 1 when the answers were classified as right or wrong, but there was no difference between groups when a scoring method was used that classified answers as correct, partially correct, incorrect, or missing. Practices related to thermal control after birth improved among those in Group 2 after training but practices related to thermal control on the ward worsened. The promotion of breastfeeding improved in both groups. Conclusion: There was no difference between the two training strategies, although self-directed learning was cheaper than conventional training. Neither strategy brought about the expected improvements in the quality of care. Other interventions in addition to training may be needed to improve care.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1024-1031
Number of pages8
JournalBulletin of the World Health Organization
Issue number11
Publication statusPublished - 2001


  • Brazil
  • Comparative study
  • Education, Medical, Continuing/methods
  • Education, Nursing, Continuing/methods
  • Medical staff, Hospital/education
  • Nursing staff, Hospital/education
  • Perinatal care

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health

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