Sarria GR, Timmerman R, Hermansen M, Malhotra S, Chang B, Carter R, Martinez DA, Sarria GJ, Giordano FA, Chetty IJ, Roa D, and Li B. Longitudinal Remote SBRT/SRS Training in Latin America: A Prospective Cohort Study. Front Oncol 2022; 12:851849.
BACKGROUND: Continuing medical education in stereotactic technology are scarcely accessible in developing countries. We report the results of upscaling a longitudinal telehealth training course on stereotactic body radiation therapy (SBRT) and stereotactic radiosurgery (SRS), after successfully developing a pilot course in Latin America.
METHODS: Longitudinal training on SBRT and SRS was provided to radiation oncology practitioners in Peru and Colombia at no cost. The program included sixteen weekly 1-hour live conferencing sessions with interactive didactics and a cloud-based platform for case-based learning. Participant-reported confidence was measured in 16 SBRT/SRS practical domains, based on a 1-to-5 Likert scale. Pre- and post-curriculum exams were required for participation credit. Knowledge-baseline, pre- and post-curriculum surveys, overall and single professional-group confidence changes, and exam results were assessed.
RESULTS: One hundred and seventy-three radiotherapy professionals participated. An average of 56 (SD ±18) attendees per session were registered. Fifty (29.7%) participants completed the pre- and post-curriculum surveys, of which 30% were radiation oncologists (RO), 26% radiation therapists (RTT), 20% residents, 18% medical physicists and 6% neurosurgeons. Significant improvements were found across all 16 domains with overall mean +0.55 (SD ±0.17, p<0.001) Likert-scale points. Significant improvements in individual competences were most common among medical physicists, RTT and residents. Pre- and post-curriculum exams yielded a mean 16.15/30 (53.8 ± 20.3%) and 23.6/30 (78.7 ± 19.3%) correct answers (p<0.001).
CONCLUSION: Longitudinal telehealth training is an effective method for improving confidence and knowledge on SBRT/SRS amongst professionals. Remote continuing medical education should be widely adopted in lower-middle income countries.