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Isabelle M. Germano, Najia El Abbadi, Katharine Drummond, Andrés Rubiano, William F. J. Harkness, and Franco Servadei

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Sergio A. Calero-Martinez, Christian Matula, Aurelia Peraud, Francesco Biroli, José Fernández-Alén, Michael Bierschneider, Michael Cunningham, Gregory W. J. Hawryluk, Maya Babu, M. Ross Bullock, and Andrés M. Rubiano

OBJECTIVE

Traumatic brain injuries (TBIs) are a significant disease burden worldwide. It is imperative to improve neurosurgeons’ training during and after their medical residency with appropriate neurotrauma competencies. Unfortunately, the development of these competencies during neurosurgeons’ careers and in daily practice is very heterogeneous. This article aimed to describe the development and evaluation of a competency-based international course curriculum designed to address a broad spectrum of needs for taking care of patients with neurotrauma with basic and advanced interventions in different scenarios around the world.

METHODS

A committee of 5 academic neurosurgeons was involved in the task of building this course curriculum. The process started with the identification of the problems to be addressed and the subsequent performance needed. After this, competencies were defined. In the final phase, educational activities were designed to achieve the intended learning outcomes. In the end, the entire process resulted in competency and outcomes-based education strategy, including a definition of all learning activities and learning outcomes (curriculum), that can be integrated with a faculty development process, including training. Further development was completed by 4 additional academic neurosurgeons supported by a curriculum developer specialist and a project manager. After the development of the course curriculum, template programs were developed with core and optional content defined for implementation and evaluation.

RESULTS

The content of the course curriculum is divided into essentials and advanced concepts and interventions in neurotrauma care. A mixed sample of 1583 neurosurgeons and neurosurgery residents attending 36 continuing medical education activities in 30 different cities around the world evaluated the course. The average satisfaction was 97%. The average usefulness score was 4.2, according to the Likert scale.

CONCLUSIONS

An international competency-based course curriculum is an option for creating a well-accepted neurotrauma educational process designed to address a broad spectrum of needs that a neurotrauma practitioner faces during the basic and advanced care of patients in different regions of the world. This process may also be applied to other areas of the neurosurgical knowledge spectrum. Moreover, this process allows worldwide standardization of knowledge requirements and competencies, such that training may be better benchmarked between countries regardless of their income level.

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Michael C. Dewan, Abbas Rattani, Saksham Gupta, Ronnie E. Baticulon, Ya-Ching Hung, Maria Punchak, Amit Agrawal, Amos O. Adeleye, Mark G. Shrime, Andrés M. Rubiano, Jeffrey V. Rosenfeld, and Kee B. Park

OBJECTIVE

Traumatic brain injury (TBI)—the “silent epidemic”—contributes to worldwide death and disability more than any other traumatic insult. Yet, TBI incidence and distribution across regions and socioeconomic divides remain unknown. In an effort to promote advocacy, understanding, and targeted intervention, the authors sought to quantify the case burden of TBI across World Health Organization (WHO) regions and World Bank (WB) income groups.

METHODS

Open-source epidemiological data on road traffic injuries (RTIs) were used to model the incidence of TBI using literature-derived ratios. First, a systematic review on the proportion of RTIs resulting in TBI was conducted, and a meta-analysis of study-derived proportions was performed. Next, a separate systematic review identified primary source studies describing mechanisms of injury contributing to TBI, and an additional meta-analysis yielded a proportion of TBI that is secondary to the mechanism of RTI. Then, the incidence of RTI as published by the Global Burden of Disease Study 2015 was applied to these two ratios to generate the incidence and estimated case volume of TBI for each WHO region and WB income group.

RESULTS

Relevant articles and registries were identified via systematic review; study quality was higher in the high-income countries (HICs) than in the low- and middle-income countries (LMICs). Sixty-nine million (95% CI 64–74 million) individuals worldwide are estimated to sustain a TBI each year. The proportion of TBIs resulting from road traffic collisions was greatest in Africa and Southeast Asia (both 56%) and lowest in North America (25%). The incidence of RTI was similar in Southeast Asia (1.5% of the population per year) and Europe (1.2%). The overall incidence of TBI per 100,000 people was greatest in North America (1299 cases, 95% CI 650–1947) and Europe (1012 cases, 95% CI 911–1113) and least in Africa (801 cases, 95% CI 732–871) and the Eastern Mediterranean (897 cases, 95% CI 771–1023). The LMICs experience nearly 3 times more cases of TBI proportionally than HICs.

CONCLUSIONS

Sixty-nine million (95% CI 64–74 million) individuals are estimated to suffer TBI from all causes each year, with the Southeast Asian and Western Pacific regions experiencing the greatest overall burden of disease. Head injury following road traffic collision is more common in LMICs, and the proportion of TBIs secondary to road traffic collision is likewise greatest in these countries. Meanwhile, the estimated incidence of TBI is highest in regions with higher-quality data, specifically in North America and Europe.