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Endoscopic ear surgery is a technique that is growing in popularity. It has potential advantages in the low-resource setting for teaching and training, for the relative ease of transporting and storing the surgical equipment and for telemedicine roles. There may also be advantages to the patient, with reduced post-operative pain, facilitating the ability to complete procedures as out-patients.
Our Ear Trainer has previously been validated for headlight and microscope otology skills, including foreign body removal and ventilation tube insertion, in both the high- and low-resource setting. This study aimed to assess the Ear Trainer for similar training and assessment of endoscopic ear surgery skills in the low-resource setting. The study was conducted in Uganda on ENT trainees.
Despite a lack of prior experience with endoscopes, with limited practice time most participants showed improvements in: efficiency of instrument movement, steadiness of the camera view obtained, overall global rating of the task and performance time (faster task performance).
These results indicate that the Ear Trainer is a useful tool in the training and assessment of endoscopic ear surgery skills.
At the heart of surgical care needs to be the education and training of staff, particularly in the low-income and/or resource-poor setting. This is the primary means by which self-sufficiency and sustainability will ultimately be achieved. As such, training and education should be integrated into any surgical programme that is undertaken. Numerous resources are available to help provide such a goal, and an open approach to novel, inexpensive training methods is likely to be helpful in this type of setting.
The need for appropriately trained audiologists in low-income countries is well recognised and clearly goes beyond providing support for ear surgery. However, where ear surgery is being undertaken, it is vital to have audiology services established in order to correctly assess patients requiring surgery, and to be able to assess and manage outcomes of surgery. The training requirements of the two specialties are therefore intimately linked.
This article highlights various methods, resources and considerations, for both otolaryngology and audiology training, which should prove a useful resource to those undertaking and organising such education, and to those staff members receiving it.
The provision of healthcare education in developing countries is a complex problem that simulation has the potential to help. This study aimed to evaluate the effectiveness of a low-cost ear surgery simulator, the Ear Trainer.
The Ear Trainer was assessed in two low-resource environments in Cambodia and Uganda. Participants were video-recorded performing four specific middle-ear procedures, and blindly scored using a validated measurement tool. Face validity, construct validity and objective learning were assessed.
The Ear Trainer provides a realistic representation of the ear. Construct validity assessment confirmed that experts performed better than novices. Participants displayed improvement in all tasks except foreign body removal, likely because of a ceiling effect.
This study validates the Ear Trainer as a useful training tool for otological microsurgical skills in developing world settings.
The prevalence of depression in rural Ugandan communities is high and yet detection and treatment of depression in the primary care setting is suboptimal. Short valid depression screening measures may improve detection of depression. We describe the validation of the Luganda translated nine- and two-item Patient Health Questionnaires (PHQ-9 and PHQ-2) as screening tools for depression in two rural primary care facilities in Eastern Uganda.
A total of 1407 adult respondents were screened consecutively using the nine-item Luganda PHQ. Of these 212 were randomly selected to respond to the Mini International Neuropsychiatric Interview diagnostic questionnaire. Descriptive statistics for respondents’ demographic characteristics and PHQ scores were generated. The sensitivity, specificity and positive predictive values (PPVs), and area under the ROC curve were determined for both the PHQ-9 and PHQ-2.
The optimum trade-off between sensitivity and PPV was at a cut-off of ≧5. The weighted area under the receiver Operating Characteristic curve was 0.74 (95% CI 0.60–0.89) and 0.68 (95% CI 0.54–0.82) for PHQ-9 and PHQ-2, respectively.
The Luganda translation of the PHQ-9 was found to be modestly useful in detecting depression. The PHQ-9 performed only slightly better than the PHQ-2 in this rural Ugandan Primary care setting. Future research could improve on diagnostic accuracy by considering the idioms of distress among Luganda speakers, and revising the PHQ-9 accordingly. The usefulness of the PHQ-2 in this rural population should be viewed with caution.
There is little practical guidance on how contextually relevant mental healthcare plans (MHCPs) can be developed in low-resource settings.
To describe how theory of change (ToC) was used to plan the development and evaluation of MHCPs as part of the PRogramme for Improving Mental health carE (PRIME).
ToC development occurred in three stages: (a) development of a cross-country ToC by 15 PRIME consortium members; (b) development of country-specific ToCs in 13 workshops with a median of 15 (interquartile range 13–22) stakeholders per workshop; and (c) review and refinement of the cross-country ToC by 18 PRIME consortium members.
One cross-country and five district ToCs were developed that outlined the steps required to improve outcomes for people with mental disorders in PRIME districts.
ToC is a valuable participatory method that can be used to develop MHCPs and plan their evaluation.
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