The quality of routine examinations of the newborn performed by midwives and SHOs; an evaluation using video recordings

Bloomfield, L; Rogers, C; Townsend, J; Wolke, D; Quist-Therson, E; (2003) The quality of routine examinations of the newborn performed by midwives and SHOs; an evaluation using video recordings. Journal of medical screening, 10 (4). pp. 176-180. ISSN 0969-1413 DOI:

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Objective: To evaluate the quality of the routine examination of the newborn as carried out by senior house officers (SHOs) and midwives. Design: Randomised controlled trial set in a district general hospital in Southeast England. Eligible babies were randomised to a midwife (111) or an SHO (8) who were then video recorded undertaking the routine newborn examination. Main outcome measures: Quality of 62 observed technical and communication components of the newborn examination, as agreed between independent consultant paediatrician and senior midwife raters. Results: Major differences were found in the rated quality of examinations between midwives and SHOs for the examinations of the heart and lungs, for the overall quality of the examination, and in areas of communication skills. Quality of examination of the hips was assessed as poor for both professional groups. Where there were significant differences between examiners, the quality of the midwives' examinations was higher. Inter-rater agreement between the consultant paediatricians and senior midwives ranged from excellent to poor for different items of the examination with a mean I Kappa value of 0.42 across all items indicating moderate agreement. Conclusions: The quality of midwife examinations exceeded that of SHOs. All midwives who examine receive formalised training in the examination of the newborn; SHOs may benefit from similar specific training. Training for both professional groups may need to be reviewed, particularly in relation to agreement on 'gold standards' for the screening of developmental dysplasia of the hip.

Item Type: Article
Keywords: neonatal examination, murmurs, infants, trial
Faculty and Department: Faculty of Infectious and Tropical Diseases
Faculty of Public Health and Policy > Dept of Social and Environmental Health Research
PubMed ID: 14738654
Web of Science ID: 188084700005


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