Pediatric Hand Surgery in Global Health: The Role for International Outreach

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There is emerging interest in hand surgery and global health. This was emphasized at the 2015 presidential address at the American Society for Surgery of Hand. Children are prioritized because of their increased risk for trauma and higher potential for better outcomes. This study aims to identify how hand surgical volunteer programs can benefit the pediatric hand surgical landscape in global health. There has been no literature review to date.


This institutional review board-approved review systematically searched PubMed, Embase, Medline, African Journal Online, and the Journal of Hand Surgery. A scoping review methodology was selected to allow mapping of a body of literature by topic, include a greater range of study designs, and provide a descriptive overview of the reviewed material. All studies published between 2000 to March 2016 relevant to pediatric hand surgery in global health were included. Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-Analyses was used to record the search results.


Six hundred sixty-eight citations were reviewed, with 10 studies that satisfied the inclusion criteria. Hand trauma (70%), congenital anomalies (30%), tumors (20%), surgical technique (50%), and international outreach recommendation (30%) were common themes. Targeting prevention (50%), international outreach education (30%), and building on previous studies to validate findings study (10%) were identified as gaps.

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