4 years ago

Clinical Outcome, Social Impact and Patient Expectation: a Purposive Sampling Pilot Evaluation of Patients in Benin Seven Years After Surgery

Jenny Mullis, Esther Avara, Gary Parker, Kirsten Randall, Michelle C. White, Mark G. Shrime



Access to affordable and timely surgery is not equitable around the world. Five billion people lack access, and while non-governmental organizations (NGOs) help to meet this need, long-term surgical outcomes, social impact or patient experience is rarely reported.


In 2016, Mercy Ships, a surgical NGO, undertook an evaluation of patients who had received surgery seven years earlier with Mercy Ships in 2009 in Benin. Using purposive sampling, patients who had received maxillofacial, plastics or orthopedic surgery were invited to attend a surgical evaluation day. In this pilot study, we used semi-structured interviews and questionnaire responses to assess patient expectation, surgical and social outcome.


Our results show that seven years after surgery 35% of patients report surgery-related pain and 18% had sought further care for a clinical complication of their condition. However, 73% of patients report gaining social benefit from surgery, and overall patient satisfaction was 89%, despite 35% of patients saying that they were unclear what to expect after surgery indicating a mismatch of doctor/patient expectations and failure of the consent process.


In conclusion, our pilot study shows that NGO surgery in Benin provided positive social impact associated with complication rates comparable to high-income countries when assessed seven years later. Key areas for further study in LMICs are: evaluation and treatment of chronic pain, consent and access to further care.

Publisher URL: https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s00268-017-4296-9

DOI: 10.1007/s00268-017-4296-9

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