Interactive and non-interactive e-learning in prenatal care
Ongoing education of midwives plays a key role in high-quality prenatal care and pregnant women's health. In Iran, online education has received growing attention because of the COVID-19 pandemic. This study aimed to compare the effects of interactive and non-interactive e-learning on midwives' knowledge and self-efficacy.
This quasi-experimental study involved 76 midwives working in prenatal care in health centres who were randomly divided into two groups: interactive e-learning via computers and non-interactive e-learning via mobile applications. Knowledge and self-efficacy were measured pre- and post-intervention using an online questionnaire and differences were analysed using the chi-squared and t tests.
Knowledge scores in nutrition, exercise, and overall care during pregnancy increased significantly in both groups in the post-intervention phase. Self-efficacy scores increased in exercise and overall care in the interactive e-learning group. The self-efficacy scores for all four studied items improved significantly in the smartphone group. The two groups' knowledge and self-efficacy scores were not significantly different post-intervention.
E-learning had positive effects on the knowledge and self-efficacy of midwives. The researchers suggest using these approaches alongside conventional in-service education methods.
Midwives are known as the main care providers during pregnancy, and play a key role in providing pregnant women with consultation and training about pregnancy complications (Murray-Davis et al, 2019; Owili et al, 2019). A healthy diet during pregnancy can reduce excess weight gain and such complications as pregnancy hypertension, preeclampsia, gestational diabetes mellitus, likelihood of a caesarean section, large for gestational age and childhood obesity (Timur et al, 2018). Regular exercise during pregnancy can mitigate complications such as preeclampsia, back pain, vomiting, cramps, anxiety, and insomnia (Perales et al, 2017). It is estimated that a large number of pregnant women have low levels of knowledge on pregnancy-related exercises and do not pursue these activities (Savvaki et al, 2018).
The presence of professional midwives and availability of high-quality prenatal care is a prerequisite for supporting safe motherhood (Nguyen et al, 2020). Nowadays, midwives should improve their professional skills along with their knowledge, making in-service education courses necessary (Belowska et al, 2015). These courses enhance midwives' knowledge and skills to undertake their tasks (Gavine et al, 2019). In-service education includes a series of activities developed to maintain and promote the qualifications and capabilities of working staff in their assigned tasks and help organisations to achieve their objectives (Taheri et al, 2017). It can also improve collaboration, discipline, job satisfaction, and innovation and mitigate job errors (Belowska et al, 2015). Studies have shown that midwives tend to participate in in-service programs with different educational approaches to constantly promote their positions (Gavine et al, 2019).
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