Date of Award

January 2015

Document Type

Open Access Thesis

Degree Name

Medical Doctor (MD)

Department

Medicine

First Advisor

J Grant Thomson

Subject Area(s)

Surgery, Medicine

Abstract

A MODEL FOR SHORT-TERM MEDICAL SERVICE TRIP EVALUATION: IMPACT OF A HAND SURGERY TRIP TO HONDURAS.

Kyle T Ragins and J Grant Thomson. Section of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery, Department of Surgery, Yale University, School of Medicine, New Haven, CT.

This study evaluates the impact of a hand-surgery-focused short-term medical service trip (MST) to Honduras on the upper extremity morbidity and health-related quality of life of its patients. The aim of the study is to provide a quantitative measurement of patient impact, while providing a model for how other MSTs can evaluate their outcomes to eventually determine best practices for MSTs.

The 2010 Hand Help MST identified Honduran patients with indications for surgical operation on their upper extremities and conducted operations on 83 patients. Researchers administered research-validated Quick DASH and SF-12v2 surveys preoperatively and 6 months post-operatively to 70 patients to evaluate changes in patient upper extremity morbidity and overall health-related quality of life.

Patients showed statistically significant improvements in the physical component summary, physical functioning, and mental health sections of their SF-12v2 scores as well as their Quick DASH scores at 6 months post-operatively. Patients had decreased upper extremity morbidity and improved health-related quality of life 6 months post-operatively. This study demonstrates that follow-up studies of patients of MSTs in developing countries are becoming increasingly feasible with the spread of mobile phones. This study provides a model for other short-term medical missions to quantitatively measure their impact and eventually determine evidence-based best practices for MSTs.

Comments

This is an Open Access Thesis.

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