• Challenges and strategies for improving training of mid-level research personnel in Nigeria

      Ezeanolue, E.E.; Iheanacho, T.; Patel, D.V. (Ubiquity Press, 2019)
      Background: Contextual research evidence is needed to reduce morbidity and mortality due to chronic but preventable diseases in low-and middle-income countries. Nigeria, Africa's most populous country, is particularly burdened by these diseases despite its academic and research infrastructure. A major impediment to developing robust evidence on sustainable disease prevention and treatment strategies is the lack of skilled research personnel. Objective: This study aimed to identify (1) training barriers for research assistants and coordinators and (2) potential strategies to counter these barriers using a Nominal Group Technique (NGT) exercise conducted at the 2017 conference of the Nigeria Implementation Science Alliance (NISA). Method: A one-hour NGT exercise was conducted with 26 groups of 2-9 persons each (N = 134) drawn from conference attendees. Group members were presented with questions related to the two objectives. Each member was asked to generate, list, discuss and vote on ideas that were eventually ranked by the group. Qualitative Thematic Analysis (QTA) was conducted for the collated responses. Findings: The QTA identified 166 training gaps and 147 potential solutions, out of which 104 were ranked. Themes that emerged for gaps included: 1) inadequate mentorship; 2) inadequate training/ lack of organized curriculum; 3) limited access to opportunities for training and employment; 4) lack of government funding; 5) lack of interest, motivation; and 6) lack of research culture. Themes for potential strategies to address the gaps were: 1) trainings/curriculum development; 2) research modules implemented in secondary and tertiary institutions; 3) creating a sustainable forum for research-related questions and answers; and 4) advocating for and accessing more government funding for research training. Conclusion: This study identified actionable strategies that reflect practical realities in implementation research in Nigeria, which can guide government agencies, policy makers, research organizations, and local foundations as they work together to increase research capacity in Nigeria. Copyright 2019 The Author(s).
    • Clinical competence statement of the Society for Vascular Surgery on training and credentialing for transcarotid artery revascularization

      Lal, B.K.; Jordan, W.; Kashyap, V.S.; Kwolek, C.J.; Moore, W.S.; Mukherjee, D.; Schermerhorn, M.L. (Mosby Inc., 2020)
      As the practice of medicine grows in complexity, the process of defining the expertise required for the competent execution of specific procedures has also become complex. The Society for Vascular Surgery therefore constituted a task force to provide informed recommendations on the knowledge, technical skills, resources, and infrastructure required to obtain and to maintain privileges for the safe and effective performance of transcarotid artery revascularization (TCAR). The TCAR procedure is being adopted rapidly, and it is therefore important that informed guidance be available expeditiously. Formal training in the pathophysiology and diagnosis of carotid occlusive disease and all management options is essential. Appropriate diagnostic, imaging, endovascular, surgical, and monitoring infrastructure is required, as are resources to maintain quality control. Credentialing and privileging require a combination of both open surgical and endovascular skills. As such, physicians must have hospital privileges to perform carotid endarterectomy. They should attend an appropriate program for education and simulated training in TCAR. In addition, physicians must have performed ?25 endovascular procedures as the primary operator using low-profile rapid-exchange platforms plus ?5 TCAR procedures as the primary operator (pathway 1); or they may have acquired ?25 endovascular procedures as the primary operator using low-profile rapid-exchange platforms and a supplement of 5 TCAR procedures under proctored guidance if they have not performed sufficient TCAR procedures (pathway 2); or a team of two physicians can collaborate, combining the endovascular and surgical requirements plus at least 5 TCAR procedures under proctored guidance (pathway 3).
    • Core Competencies to Promote Consistency and Standardization of Best Practices for Digital Peer Support: Focus Group Study

      Collins-Pisano, Caroline; Court, Juan Velez; Johnson, Michael; Mois, George; Brooks, Jessica; Myers, Amanda; Muralidharan, Anjana; Storm, Marianne; Wright, Maggie; Berger, Nancy; et al. (JMIR Publications, 2021-12-01)
      Background: As digital peer support is quickly expanding across the globe in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, standardization in the training and delivery of digital peer support can advance the professionalism of this field. While telehealth competencies exist for other fields of mental health practice, such as social work, psychiatry, and psychology, limited research has been done to develop and promote digital peer support competencies. Objective: The goal of this study is to introduce the coproduction of core competencies that can guide digital peer support. Methods: Peer support specialists were recruited through an international listserv and participated in a 1-hour virtual focus group. A total of four focus groups were conducted with 59 peer support specialists from 11 US states and three countries. Results: Analysis was conducted using the rigorous and accelerated data reduction (RADaR) technique, and 10 themes were identified: (1) protecting the rights of service users, (2) technical knowledge and skills in the practice of digital peer support, (3) available technologies, (4) equity of access, (5) digital communication skills, (6) performance-based training, (7) self-care, (8) monitoring digital peer support and addressing digital crisis, (9) peer support competencies, and (10) health literacy (emerging). The authors present recommendations based on these themes. Conclusions: The introduction of digital peer support core competencies is an initial first step to promote the standardization of best practices in digital peer support. The established competencies can potentially act as a guide for training and skill development to be integrated into US state peer support specialist competencies and to enhance competencies endorsed by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA). © Caroline Collins-Pisano, Juan Velez Court, Michael Johnson, George Mois, Jessica Brooks, Amanda Myers, Anjana Muralidharan, Marianne Storm, Maggie Wright, Nancy Berger, Ann Kasper, Anthony Fox, Sandi MacDonald, Sarah Schultze, Karen Fortuna.
    • Enhanced Training Benefits of Video Recording Surgery With Automated Hand Motion Analysis.

      Mackenzie, Colin F; Yang, Shiming; Garofalo, Evan; Hu, Peter Fu-Ming; Watts, Darcy; Patel, Rajan; Puche, Adam; Hagegeorge, George; Shalin, Valerie; Pugh, Kristy; et al. (Springer Nature, 2021-01-03)
      Background: Hand motion analysis by video recording during surgery has potential for evaluation of surgical performance. The aim was to identify how technical skill during open surgery can be measured unobtrusively by video recording during a surgical procedure. We hypothesized that procedural-step timing, hand movements, instrument use and Shannon entropy differ with expertise and training and are concordant with a performance-based validated individual procedure score. Methods: Surgeon and non-surgeon participants with varying training and levels of expertise were video recorded performing axillary artery exposure and control (AA) on un-preserved cadavers. Color-coded gloves permitted motion-tracking and automated extraction of entropy data from recordings. Timing and instrument-use metrics were obtained through observational video reviews. Shannon entropy measured speed, acceleration and direction by computer-vision algorithms. Findings were compared with individual procedure score for AA performance Results: Experts had lowest entropy values, idle time, active time and shorter time to divide pectoralis minor, using fewer instruments. Residents improved with training, without reaching expert levels, and showed deterioration 12–18 months later. Individual procedure scores mirrored these results. Non-surgeons differed substantially. Conclusions: Hand motion entropy and timing metrics discriminate levels of surgical skill and training, and these findings are congruent with individual procedure score evaluations. These measures can be collected using consumer-level cameras and analyzed automatically with free software. Hand motion with video timing data may have widespread application to evaluate resident performance and can contribute to the range of evaluation and testing modalities available to educators, training course designers and surgical quality assurance programs. © 2021, The Author(s).
    • Graduate perception of cosmetic surgery training in plastic surgery residency and fellowship programs

      Ngaage, L.M.; Kim, C.J.; Harris, C.; McNichols, C.H.L.; Ihenatu, C.; Rosen, C.; Gebran, S.; Liang, F.; Rada, E.M.; Nam, A.; et al. (Korean Society of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgeons, 2020)
      Background As the demand for cosmetic surgery continues to rise, plastic surgery programs and the training core curriculum have evolved to reflect these changes. This study aims to evaluate the perceived quality of current cosmetic surgery training in terms of case exposure and educational methods. Methods A 16-question survey was sent to graduates who completed their training at a U.S. plastic surgery training program in 2017. The survey assessed graduates' exposure to cosmetic surgery, teaching modalities employed and their overall perceived competence. Case complexity was characterized by the minimum number of cases needed by the graduate to feel confident in performing the procedure. Results There was a 25% response rate. The majority of respondents were residents (83%, n=92) and the remaining were fellows (17%, n=18). Almost three quarters of respondents were satisfied with their cosmetic training. Respondents rated virtual training as the most effective learning modality and observing attendings’ patients/cases as least effective. Perceived competence was more closely aligned with core curriculum status than case complexity, i.e. graduates feel more prepared for core cosmetic procedures despite being more technically difficult than non-core procedures. Conclusions Despite the variability in cosmetic exposure during training, most plastic surgery graduates are satisfied with their aesthetic training. Incorporation of teaching modalities, such as virtual training, can increase case exposure and allow trainees more autonomy. The recommended core curriculum is adequately training plastic surgery graduates for common procedures and more specialized procedures should be consigned to aesthetic fellowship training.
    • H3Africa partnerships to empower clinical research sites to generate high-quality biological samples

      Croxton, T.; Agala, N.; Abimiku, A. (AOSIS OpenJournals Publishing AOSIS (Pty) Ltd, 2020)
      Background: The Institute of Human Virology Nigeria (IHVN) - Human Heredity and Health in Africa (H3Africa) Biorepository (I-HAB) seeks to provide high-quality biospecimens for research. This depends on the ability of clinical research sites (CRS) - who provide biospecimens - to operate according to well-established industry standards. Yet, standards are often neglected at CRSs located in Africa. Here, I-HAB reports on its four-pronged approach to empower CRSs to prepare high-quality biospecimens for research. Objectives: I-HAB sought (1) to assess a four-pronged approach to improve biobanking practices and sample quality among CRSs, and (2) to build human capacity. Methods: I-HAB partnered with two H3Africa principal investigators located in Nigeria and Ghana from August 2013 through to May 2017 to debut its four-pronged approach (needs assessment, training and mentorship, pilot, and continuous quality improvement) to empower CRSs to attain high-quality biospecimens. Results: Close collaborations were instrumental in establishing mutually beneficial and lasting relationships. Improvements during the 12 months of engagement with CRSs involved personnel, procedural, and supply upgrades. In total, 51 staff were trained in over 20 topics. During the pilot, CRSs extracted 50 DNA biospecimens from whole blood and performed quality control. The CRSs shipped extracted DNA to I-HAB and I-HAB that comparatively analysed the DNA. Remediation was achieved via recommendations, training, and mentorship. Preanalytical, analytical and post-analytical processes, standard operating procedures, and workflows were systematically developed. Conclusion: Partnerships between I-HAB and H3Africa CRSs enabled research sites to produce high-quality biospecimens through needs assessment, training and mentorship, pilot, and continuous monitoring and improvement. Copyright: 2020. The Authors.
    • H3Africa: Current perspectives

      Mulder, N.; Abimiku, A.; Adebamowo, S.N. (Dove Medical Press Ltd, 2018)
      Precision medicine is being enabled in high-income countries by the growing availability of health data, increasing knowledge of the genetic determinants of disease and variation in response to treatment (pharmacogenomics), and the decreasing costs of data generation, which promote routine application of genomic technologies in the health sector. However, there is uncertainty about the feasibility of applying precision medicine approaches in low-and middle-income countries, due to the lack of population-specific knowledge, skills, and resources. The Human Heredity and Health in Africa (H3Africa) initiative was established to drive new research into the genetic and environmental basis for human diseases of relevance to Africans as well as to build capacity for genomic research on the continent. Precision medicine requires this capacity, in addition to reference data on local populations, and skills to analyze and interpret genomic data from the bedside. The H3Africa consortium is collectively processing samples and data for over 70,000 participants across the continent, accompanied in most cases by rich clinical information on a variety of non-communicable and infectious diseases. These projects are increasingly providing novel insights into the genetic basis of diseases in indigenous populations, insights that have the potential to drive the development of new diagnostics and treatments. The consortium has also invested significant resources into establishing high-quality biorepositories in Africa, a bioinformatic network, and a strong training program that has developed skills in genomic data analysis and interpretation among bioinformaticians, wet-lab researchers, and health-care professionals. Here, we describe the current perspectives of the H3Africa consortium and how it can contribute to making precision medicine in Africa a reality. Copyright 2018 Mulder et al.
    • The Impact of COVID-19 on Pediatric Telepsychiatry Training in Child and Adolescent Psychiatry Fellowships

      DeJong, Sandra M; Brooks, Deborah; Khan, Shabana; Reaves, Samantha; Busch, Bianca; Alicata, Dan; Ramtekkar, Ujjwal; Vo, Lan Chi; Pruitt, David (Springer Nature, 2021-12-02)
      Objective: This report summarizes findings from a 2020 survey of US child and adolescent psychiatry training programs that explored the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on pediatric telepsychiatry training. The authors hypothesized that telepsychiatry training significantly increased during the pandemic, in part due to legal and regulatory waivers during the COVID-19 public health emergency. Methods: In August 2020, an anonymous, 28-question online survey was emailed to all (138) accredited child psychiatry fellowships on the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education website. Forty-nine programs responded (36%). This analysis focuses on three of the 28 questions relevant to the hypotheses: characteristics of the program's training in telepsychiatry; perceived impediments to clinical training; and perceived impediments to didactic training pre-COVID onset vs. post-COVID onset, respectively. Total scores were created to investigate differences in training programs and impediments to including telepsychiatry pre- and post-COVID onset. Paired sample t-tests were used to compare means pre- and post-COVID onset. Results: Results provided support for significant differences between training components related to telepsychiatry pre- and post-COVID onset, with participants reporting more training components post-COVID onset (M = 5.69) than pre-COVID onset (M = 1.80); t(48) = 9.33, p < .001. Participants also reported significantly fewer barriers to providing clinical experiences in pediatric telepsychiatry post-COVID onset (M = 2.65) than pre-COVID onset (M = 4.90); t(48) = - 4.20, p < .001. Conclusions: During the COVID-19 pandemic, pediatric telepsychiatry training in child psychiatry fellowships increased significantly. Perceived barriers to providing clinical, but not didactic, training decreased significantly.
    • Knowledge of and attitudes towards cardiopulmonary resuscitation among junior doctors and medical students in Upper Egypt: Cross-sectional study

      Mohammed, Z.; Arafa, A.; Hirshon, J.M. (BioMed Central Ltd., 2020)
      Background: Cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) is a fundamental skill that should be acquired by all medical community members. This study aims to evaluate the knowledge and attitudes of junior doctors and medical students towards CPR and CPR training at Beni-Suef University Hospital in Upper Egypt, a representative region with conditions common to LMIC settings. Participants and methods: In this cross-sectional study, a total of 205 participants (60 junior doctors and 145 medical students) responded to a self-administered questionnaire assessing their knowledge regarding basic life support (BLS) and CPR techniques in neonates, children, and adults, in addition to attitudes towards the importance and necessity of CPR and CPR training. Results: Of the 60 junior doctors that participated in the study, only 31.7% had adequate knowledge of CPR, but up to 95% reported positive attitudes towards CPR training. Among the 145 medical student participants, only 6.2% had adequate knowledge of CPR, while 91% reported positive attitudes towards training. Deficiencies in CPR knowledge were more apparent in questions related to CPR in children and neonates. Junior doctors and medical students with previous CPR training demonstrated significantly better CPR knowledge than their counterparts without prior training. A statistically significant positive correlation was detected between CPR knowledge and attitude towards CPR training among medical students (r = 0.41, p < 0.001). Conclusion: The results of this study demonstrate suboptimal and inadequate CPR knowledge among junior doctors and medical students in a representative hospital in Upper Egypt. However, participants reported overwhelmingly positive attitudes and eagerness towards the implementation of CPR training. Further research needs to be done to establish CPR skill proficiency as well as to investigate barriers to CPR training, effectiveness of available programs, and the potential implementation of such a program in Egypt and other LMICs. Copyright 2020 The Author(s).
    • Medical Simulation as a Vital Adjunct to Identifying Clinical Life-Threatening Gaps in Austere Environments

      Chima, A.M.; Koka, R.; Lee, B. (Elsevier, 2018)
      Background: Maternal mortality and morbidity are major causes of death in low-resource countries, especially those in Sub-Saharan Africa. Healthcare workforce scarcities present in these locations result in poor perioperative care access and quality. These scarcities also limit the capacity for progressive development and enhancement of workforce training, and skills through continuing medical education. Newly available low-cost, in-situ simulation systems make it possible for a small cadre of trainers to use simulation to identify areas needing improvement and to rehearse best practice approaches, relevant to the context of target environments. Methods: Nurse anesthetists were recruited throughout Sierra Leone to participate in simulation-based obstetric anesthesia scenarios at the country's national referral maternity hospital. All subjects participated in a detailed computer assisted training program to familiarize themselves with the Universal Anesthesia Machine (UAM). An expert panel rated the morbidity/mortality risk of pre-identified critical incidents within the scenario via the Delphi process. Participant responses to critical incidents were observed during these scenarios. Participants had an obstetric anesthesia pretest and post-test as well as debrief sessions focused on reviewing the significance of critical incident responses observed during the scenario. Results: 21 nurse anesthetists, (20% of anesthesia providers nationally) participated. Median age was 41 years and median experience practicing anesthesia was 3.5 years. Most participants (57.1%) were female, two-thirds (66.7%) performed obstetrics anesthesia daily but 57.1% had no experience using the UAM. During the simulation, participants were observed and assessed on critical incident responses for case preparation with a median score of 7 out of 13 points, anesthesia management with a median score of 10 out of 20 points and rapid sequence intubation with a median score of 3 out of 10 points. Conclusion: This study identified substantial risks to patient care and provides evidence to support the feasibility and value of in-situ simulation-based performance assessment for identifying critical gaps in safe anesthesia care in the low-resource settings. Further investigations may validate the impact and sustainability of simulation based training on skills transfer and retention among anesthesia providers low resource environments. Copyright 2018 The Authors