Introduction The South African National Department of Health sought to improve syndromic management of sexually transmitted infections (STIs). Continuing medical education on STIs was delivered at primary healthcare (PHC) clinics using one of three training methods: (1) lecture, (2) computer and (3) paper-based. Clinics with training were compared with control clinics.
Methods Ten PHC clinics were randomly assigned to control and 10 to each training method arm. Clinicians participated in on-site training on six modules; two per week for three weeks. Each clinic was visited by three or four unannounced standardised patient (SP) actors pre-training and post-training. Male SPs reported symptoms of male urethritis syndrome and female SPs reported symptoms of vaginal discharge syndrome. Quality of healthcare was measured by whether or not clinicians completed five tasks: HIV test, genital exam, correct medications, condoms and partner notification.
Results An average of 31% of clinicians from each PHC attended each module. Quality of STI care was low. Pre-training (n=128) clinicians completed an average of 1.63 tasks. Post-training (n=114) they completed 1.73. There was no change in the number of STI tasks completed in the control arm and an 11% increase overall in the training arms relative to the control (ratio of relative risk (RRR)=1.11, 95% CI 0.67 to 1.84). Across training arms, there was a 26% increase (RRR=1.26, 95% CI 0.77 to 2.06) associated with lecture, 17% increase (RRR=1.17, 95% CI 0.59 to 2.28) with paper-based and 13% decrease (RRR=0.87, 95% CI 0.40 to 1.90) with computer arm relative to the control.
Conclusions Future interventions should address increasing training attendance and computer-based training effectiveness.
Trial registration number AEARCTR-0000668.
- SYNDROMIC MANAGEMENT
- HIV TESTING
This is an Open Access article distributed in accordance with the Creative Commons Attribution Non Commercial (CC BY-NC 4.0) license, which permits others to distribute, remix, adapt, build upon this work non-commercially, and license their derivative works on different terms, provided the original work is properly cited and the use is non-commercial. See: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/4.0/
Statistics from Altmetric.com
If you wish to reuse any or all of this article please use the link below which will take you to the Copyright Clearance Center’s RightsLink service. You will be able to get a quick price and instant permission to reuse the content in many different ways.