Research Article
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Published Online: 9 September 2011

Cervical Cancer Screening and Treatment Training Course in El Salvador: Experience and Lessons Learned

Publication: Journal of Women's Health
Volume 20, Issue Number 9

Abstract

Background: Visual inspection with acetic acid (VIA) is a simple, low-cost alternative to traditional Pap smears that could greatly benefit the amount of screening and treatment available in low-resource areas, such as rural El Salvador. The objective of this study was to train Salvadoran health providers in VIA and cryotherapy using a week-long competency course.
Methods: Health providers participated in the VIA training course, which consisted of 1 half-day of didactics, followed by 4 and 1 half days of clinical training. Pretests and posttests were administered. A 1-day didactic refresher course was administered to assess the quality of services being provided.
Results: Sixty-eight nurses and physicians completed the training course. Each trainee screened approximately 120 women and performed, on average, seven cryotherapy treatments. The average trainee improved his or her score by 15% on the theoretical test and 16.7% on the image test. At the completion of the 1-day refresher, average test scores were the highest among all the courses. The final assessment was based on 41 providers.
Conclusions: The course proved a successful tool for training healthcare providers in methods of cervical cancer screening and treatment. The course is replicable in other low-resource settings in different countries. It also provided trainees with the opportunity to adapt their clinical skills in their realistic work setting.

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Information

Published In

cover image Journal of Women's Health
Journal of Women's Health
Volume 20Issue Number 9September 2011
Pages: 1357 - 1361
PubMed: 21797668

History

Published online: 9 September 2011
Published in print: September 2011
Published ahead of print: 28 July 2011

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Affiliations

Rachel Masch
Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Beth Israel Medical Center, New York, New York.
Lauren R. Ditzian
Basic Health International, New York, New York.
Department of Obstetrics, Gynecology, and Reproductive Science, Mount Sinai Medical Center, New York, New York.
Ayana K. April
Basic Health International, New York, New York.
Mailman School of Public Health, Columbia University, New York, New York.
Mauricio Maza
Basic Health International, San Salvador, El Salvador.
Ethel Peralta
Basic Health International, San Salvador, El Salvador.
Miriam L. Cremer
Basic Health International, New York, New York.
Department of Obstetrics, Gynecology, and Reproductive Science, Mount Sinai Medical Center, New York, New York.

Notes

Address correspondence to:Miriam Cremer, M.D., M.P.H.The Mount Sinai Medical CenterOne Gustave, L. Levy Place, Box 1170New York, NY 10029-6574E-mail: [email protected]

Disclosure Statement

No competing financial interests exist.

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