Background Amid the increasing use of ultrasound in various health care settings, the evidence on the impacts of targeted ultrasound training and education programs on ultrasound examination uptake in developing countries have not been summarized. This current study presents a systematic review with the aim of describing the current research on targeted ultrasound education and training in low- and middle-income countries, with a focus on the uptake of ultrasound screening and imaging.
MethodsEight online electronic databases (Medline/PubMed, OVID, EMBASE Science Direct, Scopus, CINAHL, Web of Science, Google Scholar, and the Cochrane Library), were searched from inception to March 2022. The inclusion criteria were any/all type(s) of studies on targeted ultrasound education and training in low- and middle-income countries published in English. Opinion articles, book chapters, commentaries, and non-English articles were excluded.
ResultsA total of 916 articles were identified after the initial search. After duplicate removal, title screening and assessment according to the inclusion criteria, 12 articles were included. The interventions included, amongst others, advertisements for sensitization on ultrasound use. Generally, the findings showed a significant positive outcome from education and training programs regarding the improved quality and increased amount of ultrasound services. In accordance, the studies inferred a positive impact of the targeted education programs, which ultimately triggered motivation towards the uptake of ultrasound services in the developing countries, with obstetrics and gynaecological ultrasound being the most utilized.
ConclusionsThis systematic review concluded that targeted ultrasound education and training programs had a significant positive impact on ultrasound imaging, as demonstrated through improved quality of imaging and scanning services for informed clinical procedures and growing utilization of the portable imaging technology within rural areas.
KeywordsSystematic Review, Ultrasound, Ultrasonography, Education, Training, LMICs, Developing Countries, Healthcare Workers.