Evaluation of the Project Echo Tele-Mentoring Model for Knowledge Sharing and Technical Assistance in Cancer Control Planning and Implementation
Background: There is increasing demand for dissemination and implementation of evidence-based guidelines in cancer control. In 2017, the National Cancer Institute's Center for Global Health (NCI-CGH) partnered with University of New Mexico and The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center to provide the Project ECHO (Extension for Community Healthcare Outcomes) model of tele-mentoring as an extension of existing programs that convene relevant stakeholders for knowledge sharing and technical assistance in national cancer control planning. In early 2018, NCI-CGH launched Project ECHO programs in the Caribbean, Asia-Pacific, and sub-Saharan Africa regions, and began plans for implementation in south Asia. As a new approach for the center in program development, NCI-CGH included evaluation measures from the inception of the program to adequately measure its efficacy. Aim: Evaluation of NCI-CGH Project ECHO programs will guide future program development, and assess achievement of the program's goals: (1) to increase individual participant knowledge in specific areas; (2) to improve application of the knowledge learned; and (3) to increase collaboration within and among countries. Methods: Using Project ECHO Evaluation 101, a guide developed by the New York Academy of Medicine, NCI-CGH developed a comprehensive logic model including a concise list of program outcomes prior to the launch of ECHO programs. NCI-CGH used the logic model to develop and pilot-test a Web-based baseline and post-ECHO survey, to be completed by participants in each program, that measures participants' knowledge of cancer control planning principles and strategies. NCI-CGH conducted the baseline survey for all three ECHO programs. The post-ECHO survey will be distributed at the conclusion of each program. Each program is expected to run for approximately six months to one year. Results: Response rates for baseline surveys were: 32% in the Caribbean, 43% in Asia-Pacific, and 78% in sub-Saharan Africa. Respondents (by region) reported high levels of knowledge of the following evidence-based principles and guidelines: the Caribbean - HPV vaccination, Asia-Pacific - cervical cancer early diagnosis, sub-Saharan Africa - raising awareness. Low levels of knowledge were reported for: psychosocial support for cancer patients, family members, and caregivers in the Caribbean; survivorship care for cancer patients in Asia-Pacific; and alcohol consumption control in sub-Saharan Africa. This presentation will highlight baseline and post-ECHO survey analysis findings and the impact of these data on future program development. Conclusion: Inclusion of evaluation measures in the design phase of NCI-CGH Project ECHO tele-mentoring programs enhanced planning efforts by providing a blueprint for developing program curricula, creating an embedded system for gathering data from participants, and informing the pathway to future improvements.