Educational outcomes of an otitis media workshop for primary care providers in Latin America

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Otitis media is a prevalent condition that can be diagnosed and treated by primary care providers skilled in otoscopy. Previous analysis demonstrated that brief, intensive instruction at one site in rural Mexico improved the test scores of health care providers and changed long-term practices (Eavey R, et al. Otolaryngol Head Neck Surg 1993;109:895-8). We wanted to confirm these test score findings at other sites. A didactic course on otitis media with a practical otoscopy workshop was conducted at six Mexican locations and in one Venezuelan city by an interdisciplinary group of physicians. The same coded test was given immediately before and after the course. The Wilcoxon test for significance of intrasubject performance before and after intervention was used as a nonparametric assessment. At all seven sites (n= 190 subjects), test scores demonstrated statistically significant improvement (range =p< 0.001 top< 0.0001). We conclude that this educational method consistently improved short-term knowledge of otitis media and that further teaching efforts and a longer term practice-impact study are warranted. (Otolaryngol Head Neck Surg 1998;118:394-6.)

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