Assessing the impact of the trauma team training program in Tanzania

Simon Bergman, Dan Deckelbaum, Ronald Lett, Barbara Haas, Sebastian Demyttenaere, Victoria Munthali, Naboth Mbembati, Lawrence Museru, Tarek Razek
Journal of Trauma 2008, 65 (4): 879-83

BACKGROUND: In sub-Saharan Africa, injury is responsible for more deaths and disability-adjusted life years than AIDS and malaria combined. The trauma team training (TTT) program is a low-cost course designed to teach a multidisciplinary team approach to trauma evaluation and resuscitation. The purpose of this study was to assess the impact of TTT on trauma knowledge and performance of Tanzanian physicians and nurses; and to demonstrate the validity of a questionnaire assessing trauma knowledge.

METHODS: This is a prospective study of physicians and nurses from Dar es Salaam undergoing TTT (n = 20). Subjects received a precourse test and, after the course, an alternate postcourse test. The equivalence and construct validity of these 15-item multiple-choice questionnaires was previously demonstrated. After the course, subjects were divided into four teams and underwent a multiple injuries simulation, which was scored with a trauma resuscitation simulation assessment checklist. A satisfaction questionnaire was then administered. Test data are expressed as median score (interquartile ratio) and were analyzed with the Wilcoxon's signed rank test.

RESULTS: After the TTT course, subjects improved their scores from 9 (5-12) to 13 (9-13), p = 0.0004. Team performance scores for the simulation were all >80%. Seventy-five percent of subjects were very satisfied with TTT and 90% would strongly recommend it to others and would agree to teach future courses.

CONCLUSIONS: After completion of TTT, there was a significant improvement in trauma resuscitation knowledge, based on results from a validated questionnaire. Trauma team performance was excellent when assessed with a novel trauma simulation assessment tool. Participants were very supportive of the course.

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