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Reducing maternal mortality remains a global priority, particularly in low- and middle-income countries (LMICs). The Safer Anaesthesia from Education (SAFE) Obstetric Anaesthesia (OB) course is a three-day refresher course for trained anaesthesia providers addressing common causes of maternal mortality in LMICs. This aim of this study was to investigate the impact of SAFE training for a cohort of anaesthesia providers in Ethiopia. We conducted a mixed methods longitudinal cohort study incorporating a behavioural questionnaire, multiple-choice questionnaires (MCQs), structured observational skills tests and structured interviews for anaesthesia providers who attended one of four SAFE-OB courses conducted in two regions of Ethiopia from October 2017 to May 2018. Some 149 participants from 60 facilities attended training. Behavioural questionnaires were completed at baseline (n¼ 101, 69% response rate). Pre- and post-course MCQs (n ¼ 121, n ¼ 123 respectively) and pre- and post-course skills tests (n ¼ 123, n ¼ 105 respectively) were completed, with repeat MCQ and skills tests, and semi-structured interviews completed at follow-up (n ¼ 88, n ¼ 76, n ¼ 49 respectively). The mean MCQ scores for all participants improved from 80.3% prior to training to 85.4% following training (P< 0.0001) and skills test scores improved from 56.5% to 83.2% (P< 0.0001). Improvements in MCQs and skills were maintained at follow-up 3–11 months post-training compared to baseline (P¼ 0.0006,< 0.0001 respectively). Participants reported improved confidence, teamwork and communication at follow-up. This study suggests that the SAFE-OB course can have a sustained impact on knowledge and skills and can improve the confidence of anaesthesia providers and communication within surgical teams

Published: December 15, 2022

Categories: Education and Training in Anaesthesia



Objective: High quality obstetric anaesthetic care is integral to reducing preventable maternal deaths in Low-and-Middle-Income-Countries (LMICs). We applied behavioural science to evaluate SAFE Obstetrics, a 3-day Continuing Professional Development (CPD) course, on physician and non-physician anaesthetists’ practice behaviours across 3 LMICs.Methods: Seven anaesthetist Fellows from Bangladesh, Nepal and Tanzania were trained in qualitative methods and behavioural science. Structured interviews were undertaken by Fellows and two UK behavioural scientists with course participants. Interviews were based on the Theoretical Domains Framework: a comprehensive framework of influences on behaviour change. Interviews were recorded, transcribed and analysed using content and thematic analysis.Results: 78 physician and non-physician anaesthetists participated (n = 26 Bangladesh, n = 24 Nepal and n = 28 Tanzania). Participants reported positive improvements in patient-centered working, safety, teamwork and confidence. Across countries, we found similar barriers and facilitators: environmental resources, a strong professional identity and positive social influences were key facilitators of change.Conclusion: This multi-country theory-based evaluation highlighted the impact of SAFE Obstetrics on participants’ clinical practice. A supportive work environment was crucial for implementing learning following training; CPD courses in LMICs must furnish participants with skills and equipment to address training implementation challenges. Building local behavioural science capacity can strengthen LMIC health intervention evaluations