The Orthopedic Trauma Symposium: improving care of orthopedic injuries in Haiti

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Abstract

Background

Although single-trip volunteer medical teams can provide much-needed acute trauma care following natural disasters, their ability to leave a legacy of improved care in the region is often limited. One way to improve treatment of traumatic injuries is through conference-based teaching, such as the Orthopedic Trauma Symposium (OTS), which took place in Haiti in 2014. However, there is little research evaluating the effectiveness of such teaching tools. We evaluated the OTS and the potential benefits of future iterations of the course.

Methods

A survey consisting of 5-point Likert scale questions as well as qualitative open feedback assessed respondents’ opinions regarding the value, content and delivery of the OTS. Respondents were classified dichotomously in terms of their role in the OTS (instructor v. participant) to measure any meaningful difference in feedback.

Results

In total, 84% of all participants agreed that course content was clearly communicated, and 98% agreed that instructors were knowledgeable in the topics covered. Moreover, 87% of all participants responded that they would apply the training in their medical practices going forward.

Conclusion

Haitian physicians, residents and medical students responded favourably to the OTS. Open-ended questions offered concise, attainable improvements for future iterations of the course. Organizations committed to improving medical care in low- and middle-income countries should take note of these findings while continuing to develop the OTS and similar initiatives globally.

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