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Impact of a Curriculum to Improve Trainee Estimates of Fetal Weight

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INTRODUCTION: This study was designed to determine whether formal education regarding estimation of fetal weight improves accuracy among trainees.

METHODS: A prospective cohort study was performed in a community-teaching hospital with family medicine residents and medical students on their labor and delivery rotation. Participants estimated fetal weight and recorded actual birth weight for women admitted between 34 and 42 weeks' gestation. The intervention group received in-depth formal instruction regarding fetal weight estimation. Control participants received standard instruction. Estimates were compared between groups and with average weight for gestational age using standard growth charts.

RESULTS: Intervention group estimates of fetal weight more accurately predicted actual birth weight than control group estimates. Furthermore, intervention group estimates were closer to actual birth weight than average weights for gestational age obtained from standard growth charts.

CONCLUSION: Formal instruction may improve trainee estimates of fetal weight. Further study is needed to identify key curricular elements to improve clinical estimates of fetal weight.
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Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 2012-12-01

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  • The International Journal of Childbirth is a peer-reviewed, quarterly journal publishing original research, reviews, and case studies concerned with the practice of midwifery, women's health, prenatal care, and the birth process. The journal encourages the exploration of the complex and contextual issues surrounding childbirth provision and outcomes and invites manuscripts from a wide range of clinical, theoretical, political, methodological, psychological, public health, policy, and multicultural and interdisciplinary perspectives.
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