Clinical Research Course for International Orthopaedic Surgeons: 2-Year Outcomes

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Abstract

Background:

Although orthopaedic trauma occurs at higher rates in low- and middle-income countries (LMICs), most research on this topic is conducted in high-resource settings. Few initiatives exist to promote local research in LMICs. Investigators created the Institute for Global Orthopaedics and Traumatology (IGOT) International Research Symposium to promote local research initiatives by surgeons practicing in low-resource environments. The purpose of this study is to determine the efficacy of this symposium in teaching orthopaedic surgeons practicing in LMICs how to conduct clinical research.

Methods:

In this prospective observational study, orthopaedic surgeons from LMICs with no formal research training were recruited to attend the 1-day IGOT International Research Symposium in San Francisco. A survey was administered immediately before and after the symposium to inquire about the participants' confidence in different aspects related to research using a 1–5 Likert scale. A second survey, conducted 2 years later, recorded the attendees' research productivity after the workshop.

Results:

Forty-three participants representing 10 different LMICs from Africa and Asia attended the 2013 course. At 2 year postcourse, participants reported starting 25 research projects, authored 7 “accepted or published manuscripts” (vs. 1 before the course; P < 0.01), and were selected for 12 podium or poster presentations (vs. 3 before the course; P < 0.01). Two research symposium attendees received “Top International Forum Paper” at the 2015 Orthopaedic Trauma Association Annual Meeting.

Discussion:

A 1-day research course resulted in increased participant confidence in conducting research. This was associated with greater research productivity by participants 2 years later. These results suggest that the IGOT International Research Symposium can improve the number of initiated research projects by surgeons in LMICs.

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