Study designs of evaluations included in the review
All papers or information, with no restriction on study design, were eligible for inclusion. Only reports classed as editorials or commentaries, or those with no specific description or new evaluation, were excluded at the selection stage. The included studies were all descriptions of a training programme. Four reported some evaluation of the programme.
Specific interventions included in the review
The inclusion criteria for the review specified studies conducted in a labour ward setting, in a developed country, that addressed the training of any person directly responsible for the obstetric care of a woman in labour. The included studies covered training of mixed groups of personnel: consultant and other grade obstetricians, anaesthetists, midwives, general practitioners, auxillary nurses. In most cases the training addressed the management of obstetric emergencies in general, although one was specific to the management of eclampsia.
Participants included in the review
The inclusion criteria for the participants were not specified, although the intervention clearly applied to health care workers caring for women in labour.
Outcomes assessed in the review
The inclusion criteria for the outcomes were not specified; all outcomes were considered for the review. All of the included studies that evaluated a training programme reported outcomes based on self-assessment by trained personnel. No study reported objective measures of improvement, such as observations from subsequent emergencies or rates of adverse outcomes for women or infants born.
How were decisions on the relevance of primary studies made?
Two reviewers independently reviewed the study title and abstract of all items identified by the search. When necessary, the full document was acquired.