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Promoting respectful maternal and newborn care using the Dignity game: A quasi-experimental study

Actis-Danna, Valentina ORCID:, Bedwell, Carol, Chimwaza, Angela, Chisuse, Isabella, Lyangenda, Kutemba, Petross, Chisomo, Tuwele, Khuzuet, Taxiarchi, Vicky P. and Lavender, Tina (2022) 'Promoting respectful maternal and newborn care using the Dignity game: A quasi-experimental study'. Nurse Education in Practice, Vol 66, e103519.

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This study assessed a) the impact of playing the Dignity board game on participants’ understanding of respectful maternal and newborn care and b) participants’ perceptions of how the game influenced their subsequent practice in Malawi and Zambia.

Nurse-midwives’ poor understanding of respectful maternal and newborn care can lead to substandard practice; thus, effective education is pivotal. Used in several disciplines, game-based learning can facilitate skills acquisition and retention of knowledge.

a quasi-experimental study, using mixed-methods of data collection.

Data were collected between January and November 2020. Nurse-midwives (N = 122) and students (N = 115) were recruited from public hospitals and nursing schools.

Completion of paper-based questionnaires, before and after game-playing, assessed knowledge of respectful care principles and perceptions around behaviours and practice. Face-to-face interviews (n = 18) explored perceived impact of engaging with the game in clinical practice. Paired and unpaired t-test were used to compare scores. Qualitative data were analysed and reported thematically.

The study was completed by 215 (90.7 %) participants. Post-test scores improved significantly for both groups combined; from 25.91 (SD 3.73) pre-test to 28.07 (SD 3.46) post-test (paired t = 8.67, 95 % confidence interval 1.67–2.65), indicating an increased knowledge of respectful care principles. Nurse-midwives performed better than students, both before and after. In Malawi, the COVID pandemic prevented a third of nurse-midwives’ from completing post-game questionnaires. Qualitative findings indicate the game functioned as a refresher course and helped nurse-midwives to translate principles of respectful care into practice. It was also useful for self-reflection.

The Dignity board game has the potential to enhance understanding and practice of respectful maternal and newborn care principles in low-resource settings. Integration into nursing and midwifery curricula and in-service training for students and healthcare workers should be considered.

Item Type: Article
Subjects: WA Public Health > Health Problems of Special Population Groups > WA 310 Maternal welfare
WQ Obstetrics > WQ 20 Research (General)
WS Pediatrics > WS 20 Research (General)
Faculty: Department: Clinical Sciences & International Health > International Public Health Department
Digital Object Identifer (DOI):
Depositing User: Rachel Dominguez
Date Deposited: 02 Feb 2023 11:34
Last Modified: 13 Jun 2023 10:57


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