Using Touch Surgery to Improve Surgical Education in Low- and Middle-Income Settings: A Randomized Control Trial
Taylor, Kathryn J.
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CitationTaylor, Kathryn J. 2018. Using Touch Surgery to Improve Surgical Education in Low- and Middle-Income Settings: A Randomized Control Trial. Doctoral dissertation, Harvard Medical School.
AbstractBackground/objective: There is a severe surgical workforce shortage in Rwanda. Innovative educational tools must be introduced to train more residents and increase surgical capacity. Touch Surgery (TS) is a smartphone application that offers trainees the opportunity to practice operations; however, its effect is unknown in low- and middle-income countries. Our objectives were to determine the training effect of TS and its feasibility for use in surgery education in a low-resource setting.
Design: We performed a randomized control trial of University of Rwanda surgical residents. Participants were blocked by postgraduate year and randomized to textbook or TS for learning tendon repair surgical technique. After the learning period, participants performed a tendon repair simulation, evaluated by blinded expert raters. Presimulation and postsimulation questionnaires tested their knowledge of tendon repair.
Setting: The study was conducted at the simulation center of the University Teaching Hospital of Kigali, a tertiary referral and teaching hospital.
Participants: The study included University of Rwanda surgery residents. A total 27 of 51 surgery residents (52.94%) were enrolled. Participating residents represented the following specialties: general surgery (51.85%), orthopedics (40.74%), and urology (7.41%).
Results: TS users scored 89.7% on tendon repair simulation, compared to textbook users who scored 63.4% (p < 0.001). Postsimulation questionnaires showed a significant improvement in cognitive scores for TS users (38.6%, p < 0.001), as compared to nonsignificant improvement for textbook users (15.9%, p = 0.304). About 92.3% of TS users reported that TS represents a useful training tool, and 61.5% reported that it would be a good or very good required part of the curriculum.
Conclusions: TS is a useful tool to improve both technical skills and knowledge of tendon repair procedure steps; however, its role may be limited to a supplemental tool as it does not improve the theoretical knowledge. TS has the potential to be implemented in a surgical academic curriculum in low- and middle-income countries.
Citable link to this pagehttp://nrs.harvard.edu/urn-3:HUL.InstRepos:41973491