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Logo of bmcmeduBioMed Centralsearchsubmit a manuscriptregisterthis articleBMC Medical Education
BMC Med Educ. 2012; 12: 44.
Published online 2012 June 20. doi:  10.1186/1472-6920-12-44
PMCID: PMC3437201

Acute Care of At-Risk Newborns (ACoRN): quantitative and qualitative educational evaluation of the program in a region of China



The Acute Care of at-Risk Newborns (ACoRN) program was developed in Canada for trained health care providers for the identification and management of newborns who are at-risk and/or become unwell in the first few hours or days after birth. The ACoRN process follows an 8-step framework that enables the evaluation and management of babies irrespective of the experience or expertise of the caregiving individual or team. This study assesses the applicability of the program to Chinese pediatric practitioners.


Course content and educational materials were translated from English into Chinese by bilingual neonatal practitioners. Confidence and knowledge questionnaires were developed and reviewed for face and content validity by a team of ACoRN instructors. Bilingual Chinese instructors were trained at the tertiary perinatal centre in Hangzhou Zhejiang to deliver the course at 15 level II county hospitals. Participants completed pre- and post-course confidence and knowledge questionnaires and provided feedback through post-course focus groups.


216 physicians and nurses were trained. Confidence and knowledge relating to neonatal stabilization improved significantly following the courses. Participants rated course utility and function between 4.2 and 4.6/5 on all items. Pre/post measures of confidence were significantly correlated with post course knowledge. Focus group data supported the perceived value of the program and recommended course adjustments to include pre-course reading, and increased content related to simulation, communication skills, and management of respiratory illness and jaundice.


ACoRN, a Canadian educational program, appears to be well received by Chinese health care providers and results in improved knowledge and confidence. International program adaptation for use by health care professionals requires structured and systematic evaluation to ensure that the program meets the needs of learners, reflects their learning styles, and can be applied in their setting.

Keywords: Newborn care, Newborn stabilization, Life support course, Acute care of at risk newborn, Continuing professional development, Continuing education

Articles from BMC Medical Education are provided here courtesy of BioMed Central