3 years ago

Competency-Based Education in Low Resource Settings: Development of a Novel Surgical Training Program

Armando Siu, Alex Campbell, William P. Magee, Shubha Kumar, Libby Durnwald, Jordan Swanson, Meghan McCullough

Abstract

Background

The unmet burden of surgical disease represents a major global health concern, and a lack of trained providers is a critical component of the inadequacy of surgical care worldwide. Competency-based training has been advanced in high-income countries, improving technical skills and decreasing training time, but it is poorly understood how this model might be applied to low- and middle-income countries. We describe the development of a competency-based program to accelerate specialty training of in-country providers in cleft surgery techniques.

Methods

The program was designed and piloted among eight trainees at five international cleft lip and palate surgical mission sites in Latin America and Africa. A competency-based evaluation form, designed for the program, was utilized to grade general technical and procedure-specific competencies, and pre- and post-training scores were analyzed using a paired t test.

Results

Trainees demonstrated improvement in average procedure-specific competency scores for both lip repairs (60.4–71.0%, p < 0.01) and palate (50.6–66.0%, p < 0.01). General technical competency scores also improved (63.6–72.0%, p < 0.01). Among the procedural competencies assessed, surgical markings showed the greatest improvement (19.0 and 22.8% for lip and palate, respectively), followed by nasal floor/mucosal approximation (15.0%) and hard palate dissection (17.1%).

Conclusion

Surgical delivery models in LMICs are varied, and trade-offs often exist between goals of case throughput, quality and training. Pilot program results show that procedure-specific and general technical competencies can be improved over a relatively short time and demonstrate the feasibility of incorporating such a training program into surgical outreach missions.

Publisher URL: https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s00268-017-4205-2

DOI: 10.1007/s00268-017-4205-2

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