Long-Term Impact of a Low-Cost Paediatric Intussusception Air Enema Reduction Simulation-Based Education Programme in a Low-Middle Income Country

R. M. Nataraja, Mar Oo Yin Mar Oo, D. Ljuhar, M. Pacilli, Nyo Win Nyo Nyo Win, S. Stevens, Aye Aye Aye, D. Nestel

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Introduction: Intussusception is one of the commonest causes of bowel obstruction in infants. Most infants in Low- and Middle-Income Countries (LMICs) undergo an invasive operative intervention. Supported by simulation-based education (SBE), the Air Enema (AE) non-operative technique was introduced in 2016 in Myanmar. This study assesses the long-term outcomes. Methods: Mixed methods study design over 4 years including clinical outcomes and surgeon’s attitudes towards the AE technique and SBE. Prospectively collected clinical outcomes and semi-structured interview with reflexive thematic analysis (RTA). Primary outcome measure was a long-term shift to non-operative intervention. Secondary outcomes: Length of Stay (LoS), recurrence rates, intestinal resection rates, compared to the operative group. The data was analysed according to intention to treat. Quantitative data analysis with Mann–Whitney U test, Fisher’s exact test, Student’s T-Test or Wilcoxon Signed-Rank Test utilised. A p-value of <.05 was considered significant. Results: A total of 311 infants with intussusception were included. A sustained shift to AE was revealed with high success rates (86.1–91.2%). AE had a reduced LoS (4 vs. 7 days p ≤ 0.0001), Duration of Symptoms (DoS) was lower with AE (1.9/7 vs. 2.5/7, p = 0.002). Low recurrence rates (0–5.8%) and intestinal resection rates stabilised at 30.5–31.8% vs.15.3% pre-intervention. Four RTA themes were identified: Expanding conceptions of healthcare professional education and training; realising far reaching advantages; promoting critical analysis and reflective practice of clinicians; and adapting clinical practice to local context. RTA revealed an overall positive paradigm shift in attitudes and application of SBE. Conclusions: A sustained change in clinical outcomes and appreciation of the value of SBE was demonstrated following the intervention.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)310-321
Number of pages12
JournalWorld Journal of Surgery
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2022

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