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Are you ready? A systematic review of pre-departure resources for global health electives.

Kalbarczyk, Anna; Nagourney, Emily; Martin, Nina A; Chen, Victoria; Hansoti, Bhakti.
BMC Med Educ; 19(1): 166, 2019 May 22.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | Maio 2019 | ID: mdl-31118015
Resumo: BACKGROUND: There has been an exponential increase in the offering of short-term international field experiences in recent years in response to student demands for global health opportunities. Pre-departure preparation is an essential component to equip trainees with the adequate safety, wellness, and cultural competence needed to engage in a meaningful and mutually beneficial elective. This review seeks to quantify the plethora of pre-departure preparation training available to public health, clinical, and undergraduate trainees across the continuum of education for short-term experiences in low-and middle-income countries (LMICs). METHODS: We performed a systematic review of Pubmed, Embase, Web of Science, Scopus, and Ovid Global Health in February, 2018. A three-concept search was employed and included "global or international health"; "education or preparation of personnel/students"; and "field programs or travel." The study teamed used PRISMA reporting guidelines to conduct title and full-text reviews and conduct data extraction and analysis. RESULTS: The search returned 2506 unique articles. Of these, 55 met inclusion criteria and were included in the final review. Ninety one percent (91%) of articles focused on pre-departure trainings for medical students and residents. Nine thematic domains for short-term international field experiences emerged; culture, safety, and project-specific knowledge were the most frequently covered domains while mentorship, professionalism, and emotional wellness and culture shock were least common. Approximately half (53.3%) of studies specifically evaluated the pre-departure component of the international experience using a survey or evaluation form. Recommendations emerged from these evaluations including early engagement with international partners, inclusion of self-reflection exercises and site-specific content, and utilization of interactive approaches in learning. Some institutions face barriers to conducting pre-departure preparation such as lack of dedicated faculty, finances, and institutional support. CONCLUSIONS: Interest in pre-departure training for international experiences is growing but few programs conduct and publish evaluations of these trainings. Pre-departure trainings should be developed in partnership with receiving institutions and faculty and incorporate critical self- reflection throughout the experience. In addition to the experience itself, institutions need to evaluate these curricula to better understand how they influence trainees' capacity to effectively engage in LMIC settings.