BACKGROUND

Clinical knowledge and skills acquired during training programs like Helping Babies Breathe (HBB) and Essential Care for Every Baby (ECEB) decay within weeks or months. We assessed the effect of a peer learning intervention paired with mentorship on retention of HBB and ECEB skills, knowledge, and teamwork in 5 districts of Uganda.

METHODS

We randomized participants from 36 Ugandan health centers to control and intervention arms. Intervention participants received HBB and ECEB training, a 1 day peer learning course, peer practice scenarios for facility-based practice, and mentorship visits at 2 to 3 and 6 to 7 months. Control arm participants received HBB and ECEB training alone. We assessed clinical skills, knowledge, and teamwork immediately before and after HBB/ECEB training and at 12 months.

RESULTS

Peer learning (intervention) participants demonstrated higher HBB and ECEB skills scores at 12 months compared with control (HBB: intervention, 57.9%, control, 48.5%, P = .007; ECEB: intervention, 61.7%, control, 49.9%, P = .004). Knowledge scores decayed in both arms (intervention after course 91.1%, at 12 months 84%, P = .0001; control after course 90.9%, at 12 months 82.9%, P = .0001). This decay at 12 months was not significantly different (intervention 84%, control 82.9%, P = .24). Teamwork skills were similar in both arms immediately after training and at 12 months (intervention after course 72.9%, control after course 67.2%, P = .02; intervention at 12 months 70.7%, control at 12 months 67.9%, P = .19).

CONCLUSIONS

A peer learning intervention resulted in improved HBB and ECEB skills retention after 12 months compared with HBB and ECEB training alone.

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