Using educational DVDs in teaching perinatal bereavement communication to undergraduate healthcare students

Using educational DVDs in teaching perinatal bereavement communication to undergraduate healthcare students

O Sullivan, T. (1), Murphy M. (2), Verling, AM. (1,2), O’ Donoghue K (1,2,3)

(1) Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, University College Cork, Ireland; (2) Pregnancy Loss Research Group, Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, University College Cork, Ireland; (3) The Irish Centre for Fetal and Neonatal Translational Research (INFANT), University College Cork, Ireland.

Background
Compassionate bereavement care has been shown to enhance parental experiences. Communication skills are a key component of good care. Third-level, healthcare programmes deliver communication skills education on caring for bereaved women and their families. Aim: To quantitatively evaluate the utility of educational DVDs as a teaching resource.

Methods
Following full ethical approval from the local hospital ethics committee data were collected via anonymised paper questionnaires designed and piloted, with input by expert clinicians. Medical students, undergraduate and post graduate midwifery students, and non-consultant hospital doctors were asked to complete pre and post viewing questionnaires pertaining to two DVDs. One was developed with bereaved parents (‘When My Baby Died’) around their experiences of stillbirth and the second with healthcare staff (‘Why My Baby Died’) explaining the perinatal post-mortem process. Data were cleaned, coded and inputted into Microsoft Excel and SPSS (Version 24) for data analysis.

Results
In total 125 participants viewed ‘When My Baby Died’ and 75 viewed ‘Why My Baby Died’ DVDs. 83% of participants had a better understanding of stillbirth and 66 % said they would feel more comfortable talking with parents who had experienced a stillbirth after viewing ‘When My Baby Died’. 82% reported that this DVD was a useful method of teaching communication and care skills. 84% of participants felt more knowledgeable about the perinatal post mortem examination and would feel confident explaining the process to parents post viewing. 88% of participants agreed that the short film “Why My Baby Died” should be used as an educational training tool.

Conclusions
The DVDs were shown to be a useful and acceptable method of teaching perinatal bereavement communication and care. Post DVD viewing knowledge levels increased among all student groups. DVDs are low cost and innovative way of educating and stimulating dialogue on perinatal bereavement care by presenting the lived experiences of bereaved parents and information from healthcare staff.

Ethics statement
Full ethical approval for this study was obtained from the Local Hospitals Ethics Committee and the Local Information Governance Group (LIGG). Data access was approved by the LIGG and limited to the named authors. All data were anonymised and securely stored.


International Stillbirth Alliance, Annual Conference on Perinatal Mortality and Bereavement Care, Madrid, Spain. October 5-6th, 2019.

Leave a Comment