Despite trauma-related injuries being a leading cause of death worldwide, low- and middle-income countries (LMICs) lack the infrastructure and resources required to offer immediate surgical care, further perpetuating the risk of morbidity and mortality. In high-income countries, trauma surgery simulation courses are routinely delivered to surgeons, teaching the fundamental skills of operative trauma. This study aimed to assess whether similar courses are beneficial in LMICs and how they can be improved. We performed a systematic review and meta-analysis using MEDLINE, Embase and Google Scholar, analysing studies evaluating trauma surgery simulation in LMICs. The outcomes measured included clinical knowledge improvement, participant confidence and general course-feedback. The review was carried out in-line with PRISMA guidelines. Five studies were included, summating a population of 172 participants. In three studies, meta-analysis showed an overall significant weighted mean improvement of knowledge post-course by 22.91% (95%CI 19.53, 26.29; p < 0.00001; I2 = 0%). One study reported a significant increase in participant confidence for 20/22 of operative skills taught (p < 0.04). We conclude that these courses are beneficial in LMICs; however, further research is necessary to establish the optimum course design, and whether patient outcomes are improved following their implementation. Collaboration between international trauma institutions is essential for closing the educational resource inequality gap between higher- and lower-income countries.
- medical education