“Emergency Birth! – Piloting video game technology as a tool for training critical practices for maternal and neonatal survival among traditional birth attendants.”
Dr. Caroline Rouse, Dr. Dilys Walker, Dr. Elena Bertozzi, Ms. Dolores Gonzalez
Maternal and neonatal mortality remain significant problems globally despite use of effective interventions such as stimulating and warming the neonate and active management of the third stage of labor. In Mexico, although most births occur in health facilities attended by physicians, there is still a significant rate of home deliveries attended by traditional birth attendants (TBA). Several studies have demonstrated interventions aimed at TBAs that improve maternal and infant outcomes; however, scaled-up implementation has been disappointing. New strategies for effectively strengthening beneficial TBA practices are sorely needed.
One method of instituting widespread training in basic obstetrical emergency management is through technology.
The Engender Games Group (EGG) in collaboration with the University of Washington created Emergency Birth!, a video game aimed at improving outcomes for births occurring outside of a hospital. The game is culturally and socioeconomically neutral, and uses an interactive birth scenario to reinforce safe obstetric practice during childbirth. The study objective is to pilot test the Emergency Birth! game for acceptability, feasibility and effectiveness in rural Mexican TBAs. TBAs will be asked twice (1-3 months apart) to play the game and answer interview questions. The two sets of play scores and interview questions per participant will be used to assess changes in knowledge of game content and attitudes toward the game. Focus group interviews will be conducted to supplement the quantitative data and delve into the nuances of video game acceptability for this population, as well as identify barriers and facilitators to its effectiveness in the future iterations.