Nurse and physician reflections on the application of a quality standards training program to reduce maternal mortality

Shannon I. Maloney, Mohammad Siahpush, Danae Dinkel, Paraskevi A. Farazi, Jithin Jose, Rohini Dutta

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


Objective: High rates of maternal mortality persist in Low and Middle Income countries, despite increasing rates of facility-based births, suggesting a need to focus on quality of maternity care. The purpose of the current study was to evaluate provider perspectives on the implementation of material taught during an evidence-based medical education session aimed at reducing common causes of maternal death in government hospitals in India. Design: Several months after the training, labor room nurses and physicians from twenty-two hospitals participated in semi-structured focus group discussions. Setting: Training sessions were held in an off-site location in each of fourteen districts across Kerala, India. Participants: Nurses and physicians working in labor and delivery wards within government hospitals. Intervention: Participants were trained on evidence-based practices to treat and prevent common causes of maternal death. Training was a combination of lecture and hands-on practice, conducted over a single working day in a classroom setting. Measurements and findings: Main items of discussion were challenges to implementing material taught in the training session and identification of successful strategies to adopt the recommended standards of care. Primary barriers to implementation of quality standards were provider unwillingness to apply new techniques, inadequate infrastructure, challenges with staffing capacity and lack of required materials and equipment. Facilitators to implementing standards of care included staff motivation, supportive leadership and co-training of nurses and doctors. Key conclusions: In international settings, clinical uptake of evidence-based material taught in a classroom format may differ by physician attitude and may be moderated by external factors such as infrastructure quality and equipment availability. In some circumstances, highly motivated staff may overcome external barriers through effort and persistence. Implications for practice: Continuing medical education aimed to improve utilization of evidence-based maternity care in low- and middle-income countries may have limited effect without complementary support from hospital administration and provision of adequate infrastructure, equipment and materials to support evidence-based practice.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)155-160
Number of pages6
StatePublished - Nov 2018


  • Continuing
  • Education
  • Evidence-based practice
  • Focus groups
  • India
  • Maternal mortality
  • Medical
  • Standard of care

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Obstetrics and Gynecology
  • Maternity and Midwifery


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