The Effectiveness of an Innovative E-Learning Program to Support Nurses and Midwives in the Delivery and Implementation of Safe Infant Sleeping Recommendations Across Acute and Community Settings

Tuesday, 31 July 2012: 10:45 AM

Jeanine Young, PhD, BSc (Hons), RGN
Nursing Research Unit AND Research Centre for Clinical and Community Practice Innovation, Children's Health Services and Griffith University, Brisbane, Australia
Niall Higgins, RN, GDip_eHealthcare
Queensland Health, Clinical Skills Development Centre, Brisbane, Australia
Leanne Raven, RN, MNS, BAppSc, DipNE
SIDS and Kids Australia, SIDS and Kids Australia, Melbourne, Australia

Learning Objective 1: The learner will be able to identify the six safe sleeping recommendations known to reduce the risk of sudden and unexpected deaths in infancy.

Learning Objective 2: The learner will be able to access an evidence-based health professional program demonstrated to improve knowledge application of safe infant sleeping recommendations.

Purpose: Sudden unexpected deaths in infancy (SUDI) is the leading causes of infant mortality for babies aged 28-365 days, with avoidable risk factors present in 95% of these deaths. Nurses and midwives have key roles in supporting parents to use safe sleeping recommendations. This study evaluated the effectiveness of an innovate eLearning program in positively impacting knowledge application relating to SUDI and safe sleeping recommendations.

Methods: A pre-test/post-test design evaluated knowledge and knowledge application in a sample of health professionals completing the Safe Infant Sleeping eLearning program. The three-module program had an in-built evaluation to benchmark prior knowledge, and post-module quizzes to complete following each module. Participant test scores were calculated including a mean post-test score. Pre-test-post-test changes were analysed using paired t-tests; sample subsets were compared using independent t-tests.

Results: During the first 14 months, 4263 participants enrolled with 1798 participants completing the program; predominantly nurses and midwives (1659, 92%). Pretest results (n=1798) identified deficits in knowledge and application of risk factor assessment and evidence-based parent advice [mean pretest score 70.5%(±SD10.7]. Nurses and midwives had a higher mean pretest score [71%(±SD10.3)] compared to other health professionals [65%(±SD13.6), p<0.0001]. Participant scores significantly increased posttest [pretest 71% Vs post-test average 87%,p<0.001). Public sector staff were significantly higher pretest than private sector (71%vs65%,p<0.0001), however post-test scores were similar (87%vs87%,p=0.3). Post-test mean scores for nurses and midwives compared with other health professionals were also similar (87% Vs 87%,p=0.3).

Conclusion: This innovative eLearning program was effective in significantly improving relevant knowledge and knowledge application relating to safe sleeping public health recommendations for nurses and midwives who care for families with young infants. Consistent delivery of evidence-based information relating to safe sleeping will support nurses and midwives in their key role as parent educators about public health initiatives that promote infant health and reduce mortality.