Purpose Every year > 450,000 individuals are diagnosed with cancer and approximately 350,000 die of it in India. The Ministry of Health and Family Welfare has released an Operational Framework for the Management of Common Cancers that highlights population-based cancer screening programs in primary health care facilities by health care providers (HCPs) and capacity building of HCPs. The purpose of this study is to present a low-cost training model that is highly suitable for resource-deficient settings, such as those found in India, through Extension for Community Health Outcome (ECHO), a knowledge-sharing tool, to enable high-quality training of HCPs. Materials and Methods An in-person, 3-day training program was conducted for 27 HCPs in the tribal primary health care center of Gumballi in Karnataka, India, to teach the basics of cancer screening in oral, breast, and cervical cancer. The training of HCPs was done using the ECHO platform while they implemented the cancer screening, thus enabling them to build the much needed knowledge and skill set to conduct cancer screening in their respective communities. Results The knowledge level of the HCPs was tracked before the intervention, immediately after the 3-day training program, and 6 months after the ECHO intervention, which clearly showed progressive acquisition and retention of knowledge. A marked improvement in knowledge level score from an average of 6.3 to 13.7 on a 15-point scale was noticed after the initial in-person training. The average knowledge further increased to a score of 14.4 after 6 months as a result of training using the ECHO platform. Conclusion ECHO is an affordable and effective model to train HCPs in cancer screening in a resource-constrained setting.
Hariprasad R, Arora S, Babu R, Sriram L, Sardana S, Hanumappa S, Mehrotra R. Retention of Knowledge Levels of Health Care Providers in Cancer Screening Through Telementoring. J Glob Oncol. 2018 Jul;4:1-7. doi: 10.1200/JGO.18.00048. PMID: 30084700; PMCID: PMC6223516.