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Niger J Surg. 2019 Jan-Jun;25(1):30-35. doi: 10.4103/njs.NJS_30_18.

Determination of Visual Portfolio for Surgeons OverSeas Assessment of Surgical Needs Nigeria Study: Consensus Generation through an e-Delphi Process.

Author information

1
Department of Surgery, Pediatric Surgery Unit, Lagos University Teaching Hospital, Lagos, Nigeria.
2
Division of Pediatric General and Thoracic Surgery, Montreal Children's Hospital, Montreal, Canada.
3
Department of Surgery, College of Medicine, University of Lagos, Lagos, Nigeria.

Abstract

Background:

Surgery as a public health priority has received little attention until recently. There is a significant unmeasured and unmet burden of surgical illness in low- and middle-income countries (LMICs). Our aim was to generate a consensus among expert pediatric surgeons practicing in LMICs regarding the spectrum of pediatric surgical conditions that we should look out for in a community-based survey for Surgeons OverSeas Assessment of Surgical Needs Nigeria study.

Materials and Methods:

The Delphi methodology was utilized to identify sets of variables from among a panel of experts. Each variable was scored on a 5-point Likert scale. The experts were provided with an anonymous summary of the results after the first round. A consensus was achieved after two rounds, defined by an improvement in the standard deviation (SD) of scores for a particular variable over that of the previous round. We invited 76 pediatric surgeons through e-mail across Africa but predominantly from Nigeria.

Results:

Twenty-one pediatric surgeons gave consent to participate through return of mail. Thirteen (62%) answered the first round statements and 8 (38%) the second round. In general, the strength of agreement to all statements of the questionnaire improved between the first and second rounds. Overall consensus, as expressed by the decrease in the mean SD from 0.84 in the first round to 0.68 in the second round, also improved over time. The strength of consensus improved for 23 (74%) of the statements. The strength of consensus decreased for the remaining 8 (26%) of statements. Out of the 31 consensus-generating statements, 16 (51%) scored high agreement, 13 (42%) scored low agreement, and 2 (15%) scored perfect disagreement.

Conclusion:

We have successfully identified the pediatric surgical conditions to be included in any community survey of pediatric surgical need in an LMIC setting.

KEYWORDS:

Delphi; Surgeons OverSeas Assessment of Surgical Needs; global surgery; low- and middle-income countries

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