An Assessment Tool for Hand Surgical Education Needs and Capacity in Resource-Limited Settings.
Plastic and reconstructive surgery
BACKGROUND: Hand surgeons have the potential to substantially decrease the surgical disability burden in the developing world through educator trips. The Lancet Commission supports contextually driven educator trips grounded in the needs of local hosts, yet few organizations perform a comprehensive assessment of learning interests or the hosting institutions' surgical capacity before the trips.
METHODS: The authors adapted the Personnel, Infrastructure, Procedures, Equipment, and Supplies questionnaire, which was modified from the World Health Organization's validated Tool for Situational Analysis to Assess Emergency and Essential Surgical Care. The authors revised each aspect of the questionnaire to reflect items pertinent to upper extremity surgery and hand trauma care. They added sections to gauge self-identified learning needs, local disease burden, operative resources, and current practices. The tool was distributed by means of Qualtrics; descriptive statistics were used to summarize data. The authors analyzed the data for all participants and performed two subgroup analyses to examine variation by regions and countries.
RESULTS: The authors received 338 responses from 27 countries. There was wide variability in local surgical disease burden, learning interests, and skill level of upper extremity procedures. Although learners were most interested in learning tendon transfers and microsurgical techniques, the majority did not have adequate infrastructure at their institution to sustain capacity for microvascular procedures.
CONCLUSIONS: Needs assessments can gauge how best to provide education during short-term visiting educator trips and optimize its impact in resource-limited settings. Understanding the needs, learning interests, and availability of resources of local learners is imperative to creating a sustainable global surgical workforce.
Huynh KA, Billig JI, Lalonde DH, Chung KC. An Assessment Tool for Hand Surgical Education Needs and Capacity in Resource-Limited Settings. 2021 Jul;148(1):42-50e. Available from: https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/34181609/