Evaluating Shifts in Perception After a Pilot Trauma Quality Improvement Training Course in Cameroon

Trauma is a major contributor to the global burden of disease, with low- and middle-income countries (LMICs) being disproportionately affected. Trauma Quality Improvement (QI) initiatives could potentially save an estimated two million lives each year. Successful trauma QI initiatives rely on adequate training and a culture of quality among hospital staff. This study evaluated the effect of a pilot trauma QI training course on participants’ perceptions on leadership, medical errors, and the QI process in Cameroon.

Study participants took part in a three-day, eight-module course training on trauma QI methods and applications. Perceptions on leadership, medical errors, and QI were assessed pre and post-course using a 15-item survey measured on a five-point Likert scale. Median pre- and post-course scores were compared using the Wilcoxon signed-rank test. Knowledge retention and course satisfaction were also evaluated in a post-course survey and evaluation.

A majority of the 25 course participants completed pre-course (92%) and post-course (80%) surveys. Participants’ perceptions of safety and comfort discussing medical errors at work significantly increased post-course (pre-median = 5, IQR [4-5]; post-median = 5, IQR [5-5]; P = 0.046). The belief that individuals responsible for medical error should be held accountable significantly decreased after the course (pre-median = 3, IQR [2-4]; post-median = 1, IQR [1-2]; P < 0.001). Overall satisfaction with the course was high with median scores ≥4. Conclusions These initial results suggest that targeted trauma QI training effectively influences attitudes about QI. Further investigation of the effect of the trauma QI training on hospital staff in larger courses is warranted to assess reproducibility of these findings.

‘Coming home does not mean that the injury has gone’—exploring the lived experience of socioeconomic and quality of life outcomes in post-discharge trauma patients in urban India

Trauma results in long-term socioeconomic outcomes that affect quality of life (QOL) after discharge. However, there is limited research on the lived experience of these outcomes and QOL from low – and middle-income countries. The aim of this study was to explore the different socioeconomic and QOL outcomes that trauma patients have experienced during their recovery. We conducted semi-structured qualitative interviews of 21 adult trauma patients between three to eight months after discharge from two tertiary-care public hospitals in Mumbai, India. We performed thematic analysis to identify emerging themes within the range of different experiences of the participants across gender, age, and mechanism of injury. Three themes emerged in the analysis. Recovery is incomplete—even up to eight months post discharge, participants had needs unmet by the healthcare system. Recovery is expensive—participants struggled with a range of direct and indirect costs and had to adopt coping strategies. Recovery is intersocial—post-discharge socioeconomic and QOL outcomes of the participants were shaped by the nature of social support available and their sociodemographic characteristics. Provisioning affordable and accessible rehabilitation services, and linkages with support groups may improve these outcomes. Future research should look at the effect of age and gender on these outcomes.

Changes in patterns and outcomes of trauma patients after betterment in law and order situation of the city

Objective: To assess the impact of the law and order situation of a city on the pattern of traumatic injuries and the overall outcomes of trauma victims.

Method: The retrospective study of prospective trauma surgery data was done at Aga Khan University Hospital, Karachi, and comprised data of patients with torso injuries before the improvement of law and order situation from January 2012 to March 2013 in Group A, and of those with similar injuries after the law and order situation improved in the city from January 2018 to March 2019 in Group B. The required data was collected by a single researcher using a predesigned questionnaire. Inter-group comparison was done to see the difference in patterns of injuries and outcomes. Data were analysed using SPSS 22.

Results: Of the 676 cases reviewed, Group A had 416(61.5%); 363(87%) males and 53(13%) females with overall mean age of 37±13 years. Group B had 260(38.5%); 219(84%) males and 41(16%) females with overall mean age of 36±13 years (p>0.05). Penetrating trauma alone or combined with blunt force was the most common mechanism in Group A i.e. 245 (59%) patients, while in group B blunt trauma was the commonest cause 209 (80.4%) patients. There was an overall 156 (37.5%) cases reduction in torso trauma cases. Mortality in Group A was 22(5.3%) and in Group B it was 7(2.7%).

Conclusion: With the improvement in the law and order situation, there was reduction in overall trauma cases and the pattern of trauma shifted from penetrating to blunt injuries.

Trauma Care in Low- and Middle-Income Countries

Background Trauma-related injury causes higher mortality than a combination of prevalent infectious diseases. Mortality secondary to trauma is higher in low- and middle-income countries (LMICs) than high-income countries. This review outlines common issues, and potential solutions for those issues, identified in trauma care in LMICs that contribute to poorer outcomes.

Methods A literature search was performed on PubMed and Google Scholar using the search terms “trauma,” “injuries,” and “developing countries.” Articles conducted in a trauma setting in low-income countries (according to the World Bank classification) that discussed problems with management of trauma or consolidated treatment and educational solutions regarding trauma care were included.

Results Forty-five studies were included. The problem areas broadly identified with trauma care in LMICs were infrastructure, education, and operational measures. We provided some solutions to these areas including algorithm-driven patient management and use of technology that can be adopted in LMICs.

Conclusion Sustainable methods for the provision of trauma care are essential in LMICs. Improvements in infrastructure and education and training would produce a more robust health care system and likely a reduction in mortality in trauma-related injuries.

Diagnosis and Management of Traumatic Subarachnoid Hemorrhage: Protocol for a Scoping Review

Globally, 69 million people suffer from traumatic brain injury (TBI) each year and TBI is the most common cause of subarachnoid hemorrhage (SAH). Traumatic SAH (TSAH) has been described as an adverse prognostic factor leading to progressive neurological deterioration and an increase in morbidity and mortality, but there are a limited number of studies which evaluate recent trends in the diagnostic and management of SAH in the context of trauma.

The objective of this scoping review was to understand the extent and type of evidence in relation to the diagnostic criteria and management of TSAH.

This scoping review will be conducted in accordance with the Joanna Briggs Institute methodology for scoping reviews. A 3-step search strategy (an initial limited search in PubMed and Scopus databases; a main search of EMBASE, Web of Science, EBSCO, MEDLINE; and manual searches of reference lists of included articles) will be utilized. The search will be limited to studies with human participants and published in English, Spanish, and French between 2005 and 2020. This review will consider studies of adolescent and adult patients with SAH secondary to trauma. Study selection will be performed by 2 authors (DG and LF) in a 2-phase process; if any disagreement arises, a third author (AR) will be consulted. Data to be extracted from each study will include population, intervention, comparator and outcome measures, and a summary of findings. Citation screening, full-text review, risk of bias assessment, and extraction of study characteristics and outcomes will be carried out using a web-based software platform that streamlines the production of scoping reviews.

Ethics approval is not required for this systematic review, as there will be no patient involvement. The search for this systematic review commenced in December 2020, and we expect to publish the findings in early 2021. The plan for dissemination is to publish review findings in a peer-reviewed journal and present findings at conferences that engage the most pertinent stakeholders.

This scoping review will serve as an initial step in providing more evidence for health care professionals, economists, and policymakers so that they might devote more resources toward this significant problem affecting both health and economic outcomes worldwide.

Measuring socioeconomic outcomes in trauma patients up to one year post-discharge: A systematic review and meta-analysis

Trauma accounts for nearly one-tenth of the global disability-adjusted life-years, a large proportion of which is seen in low- and middle-income countries (LMICs). Trauma can affect employment opportunities, reduce social participation, be influenced by social support, and significantly reduce the quality of life (QOL) among survivors. Research typically focuses on specific trauma sub-groups. This dispersed knowledge results in limited understanding of these outcomes in trauma patients as a whole across different populations and settings. We aimed to assess and provide a systematic overview of current knowledge about return-to-work (RTW), participation, social support, and QOL in trauma patients up to one year after discharge.

We undertook a systematic review of the literature published since 2010 on RTW, participation, social support, and QOL in adult trauma populations, up to one year from discharge, utilizing the most commonly used measurement tools from three databases: MEDLINE, EMBASE, and the Cochrane Library. We performed a meta-analysis based on the type of outcome, tool for measurement, and the specific effect measure as well as assessed the methodological quality of the included studies.

A total of 43 articles were included. More than one-third (36%) of patients had not returned to work even a year after discharge. Those who did return to work took more than 3 months to do so. Trauma patients reported receiving moderate social support. There were no studies reporting social participation among trauma patients using the inclusion criteria. The QOL scores of the trauma patients did not reach the population norms or pre-injury levels even a year after discharge. Older adults and females tended to have poorer outcomes. Elderly individuals and females were under-represented in the studies. More than three-quarters of the included studies were from high-income countries (HICs) and had higher methodological quality.

RTW and QOL are affected by trauma even a year after discharge and the social support received was moderate, especially among elderly and female patients. Future studies should move towards building more high-quality evidence from LMICs on long-term socioeconomic outcomes including social support, participation and unpaid work.

Misconceptions About Traumatic Brain Injuries in Five Sub-Saharan African Countries

Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) remains a significant problem in certain regions of the world but receives little attention despite its enormous burden. This discrepancy could consequently lead to various misconceptions among the general public. This study evaluated misconceptions about TBI in five African countries.

Data for this cross-sectional study were collected using the Common Misconception about Traumatic Brain Injury (CM-TBI) questionnaire, which was electronically disseminated from January 16 to February 6, 2021. Associations between the percentage of correct answers and independent variables (i.e., sociodemographic characteristics and experience with TBI) were evaluated with the ANOVA test. Additionally, answers to the question items were compared against independent variables using the Chi-Square test. A P-value <0.05 was considered statistically significant.

A total of 817 adults, 50.2% female (n=410), aged 24.3 ± 4.3 years, and majoritarily urban dwellers (94.6%, n=773) responded to the survey. They had received tertiary education (79.2%, n=647) and were from Nigeria (77.7%, n=635). Respondents had few misconceptions (mean correct answers=71.7%, 95% CI=71.0-72.4%) and the amnesia domain had the highest level of misconception (39.3%, 95% CI=37.7-40.8%). Surveyees whose friends had TBI were more knowledgeable about TBI (mean score difference=4.1%, 95% CI=1.2-6.9, P=0.01). Additionally, surveyees whose family members had experienced TBI had a better understanding of brain damage (mean score difference=5.7%, 95% CI=2.1-9.2%, P=0.002) and recovery (mean score difference=4.3%, 95% CI=0.40-8.2%, P=0.03).

This study identified some misconceptions about TBI among young adult Africans. This at-risk population should benefit from targeted education strategies to prevent TBI and reduce TBI patients' stigmatization in Africa.

Unmet Surgical Need in Malawi

Globally, and especially in sub-Saharan Africa, including Malawi, surgical conditions receive a low level of priority in national health systems. The burden of surgical diseases is not well documented and the reasons for which people still live with treatable conditions and disabilities or sometimes present late for care have also not been studied. There is also little information on surgical deaths from untreated conditions in both adults and children, including trauma, as well as potential barriers to obtaining surgical care.
The aim of this thesis was therefore to describe the untreated surgical conditions, in both adults and children, the barriers to surgical health care, as well as to document information about deaths from surgical conditions in Malawi.
This thesis is based on four papers. All four involved data collected using the SOSAS tool, which is a questionnaire-based data collection tool for documenting household information in the communities. The tool had three sections, the first section capturing demographic data for the households; including number of occupants, ages, gender, location and type of household, and tribe. The next two sections were similar but involved interviewing two different people and asking about information relating to surgical conditions present for both adults and paediatric age groups, including injuries, associated disability from acquired or congenital disorders, transportation to health facility and location of death from different surgical conditions. The two household members interviewed, included the head of household and another random member within the household. Data collection was centrally organized by a project group, and performed by third year medical students from the University of Malawi, College of Medicine.
Data was collected as a national survey from the 28 districts in Malawi. The National Statistics Board helped us to identify the villages used in the study.
We found that a third of the Malawian population were living with a surgical condition and were in need of a surgical consultation or treatment. These conditions were either congenital or the result of a traumatic or other non-traumatic condition. We also found that almost one fifth of the children with a surgical condition that could have been treated by surgery, instead remained with a disability that affected their daily lives.
In addition, we found that transportation poses a barrier to timely access to surgical health care. Transportation barriers included the lack of efficient public transportation, cost implications, and long travel distances to get to a health facility capable of offering care by either consultation or surgical procedures.
Other findings were that acute abdominal distention, body masses and trauma, contribute to surgical conditions that are highly associated with mortality in Malawian communities. We also noted that there are various reasons that lead to delays in obtaining formal health care, including initial consultations with traditional herbalists before going to the hospital.
Almost 6 million Malawian people, including an estimated 2 million children, are living with a condition that could be treated by either a surgical procedure or consultation. There are an estimated 1 million disabled children currently living with such surgically treatable conditions. The treatment of these conditions is hampered by transportation barriers. The transportation barriers have led to delays in obtaining timely surgical health care service, something that often leads to mortality. The common causes of these deaths are from injuries, but also other surgical emergencies. Most of these deaths occur outside a health facility environment.

Trauma Registry Data as a Policy-Making Tool: A Systematic Review on the Research Dimensions

Objective: To review the research dimensions of trauma registry data on health policy making.
Methods: PubMed and EMBASE were searched until July 2020. Keywords were used on the search process included Trauma, Injury, Registry and Research, which were searched by using appropriate search strategies. The included articles had to: 1. be extracted from data related to trauma registries; 2- be written in English; 3- define a time period and a patient population; 4- preferably have more details and policy recommendations; and 5- preferably have a discussion on how to improve diagnosis and treatment. The results obtained from the included studies were qualitatively analyzed using thematic synthesis and comparative tables.
Results: In the primary round of search, 19559 studies were retrieved. According to PRISMA statement and also performing quality appraisal process, 30 studies were included in the final phase of analysis. In the final papers’ synthesis, 14 main research domains were extracted and classified in terms of the policy implication and research priority. The domains with the highest frequency were “The relationship between trauma registry data and hospital care protocols for trauma patients” and “The causes of Disability Adjusted Life Years (DALYs) due to trauma”.
Conclusion: Using trauma registry data as a tool for policy-making could be helpful in several ways, namely increasing the quality of patient care, preventing injuries and decreasing their number, figuring out the details of socioeconomic status effects, and improving the quality of researches in practical ways. Also, follow-up of patients after trauma surgery as one of the positive effects of the trauma registry can be the focus of attention of policy-making bodies.

Barriers to Trauma Care in South and Central America: a systematic review

Trauma is widespread in Central and South America and is a significant cause of morbidity and mortality. Providing high quality emergency trauma care is of great importance. Understanding the barriers to care is challenging; this systematic review aims to establish current the current challenges and barriers in providing high-quality trauma care within the 21 countries in the region.

OVID Medline, Embase, EBM reviews and Global Health databases were systematically searched in October 2020. Records were screened by two independent researchers. Data were extracted according to a predetermined proforma. Studies of any type, published in the preceding decade were included, excluding grey literature and non-English records. Trauma was defined as blunt or penetrating injury from an external force. Studies were individually critically appraised and assessed for bias using the RTI item bank.

57 records met the inclusion criteria. 20 countries were covered at least once. Nine key barriers were identified: training (37/57), resources and equipment (33/57), protocols (29/57), staffing (17/57), transport and logistics (16/57), finance (15/57), socio-cultural (13/57), capacity (9/57), public education (4/57).

Nine key barriers negatively impact on the provision of high-quality trauma care and highlight potential areas for improving care in Central & South America. Many countries in the region, along with rural areas, are under-represented by the current literature and future research is urgently required to assess barriers to trauma management in these countries.