Analysis and recommendations based on evaluation data from AO Alliance educational events in sub-Saharan Africa and Asia
Background: Traumatic injuries are among the leading causes of death and permanent disability worldwide, disproportionately affecting low- and middle-income countries. The AO Alliance, a nonprofit organization, is committed to enhancing fracture care to limit the effects of trauma. They conduct courses on both operative and nonoperative trauma care in Asia and sub-Saharan Africa. This study aimed to investigate the effectiveness of 137 courses within 12 countries from January 2018 through August 2019.
Methods: An online course evaluation questionnaire was completed by participants and faculty at the end of each course. The online survey asked a mixture of multiple-choice and long-answer questions. Faculty members were asked to complete a follow-up questionnaire in addition to the course evaluation questionnaire.
Results: Participants in AO Alliance courses were mainly surgeons or operating room personnel with less than 5 years of experience. Most of the participants found the course content useful for their daily practice, that they learned something new and planned to use the new information in their practice, that the stated course objectives were met, and that faculty were effective. Having more practical exercise and discussion time and addressing the language barriers were the main areas of improvement identified. Most chairpersons have implemented the suggestions by increasing discussion time and adapting the course content to the local setting and participants. Some suggestions could not be implemented due to a lack of financial resources.
Conclusions: The overall data support the usefulness of AO Alliance courses and reaffirm that they are highly valued in low- and middle-income countries by participants and faculty. Offering more courses in Africa would allow for a smaller course setting, which could further improve overall course quality.