239509 Development of an interdisciplinary cancer research training program for Guatemala

Monday, October 31, 2011: 5:06 PM

Lauren D. Arnold, PhD, MPH , School of Public Health, Department of Epidemiology, St. Louis University, St. Louis, MO
Peter Benson, PhD , Department of Anthropology, Washington University in St. Louis, St. Louis, MO
Graham Colditz, MD, DrPH , Department of Surgery, Washington University in Saint Louis, St. Louis, MO
Katherine Stamatakis, PhD, MPH , Dept of Surgery/Division of Public Health Sciences, Washington University in St. Louis, St. Louis, MO
Courtney Beers, MPH , Department of Surgery/Division of Public Health Sciences, Washington University in St. Louis, St. Louis, MO
Joaquin Barnoya, MD, MPH , Department of Surgery/Division of Public Health Sciences, Washington University in St. Louis, St. Louis, MO
Background: Institute Nacional de Cancerologia (INCAN) is the primary source for Guatemala's cancer data. Yet, infrastructure challenges limit the ability to conduct surveillance and research. Simultaneously, US clinical trainees have substantial interest in international health research. Thus, there is a need to train future clinicians in fundamentals of public health research, with a focus on working in a resource-challenged region.

Purpose: Led by a multi-disciplinary team of public health faculty, a year-long research training program was developed to: 1) build INCAN's research capacity; 2) expand Washington University's (WU) capacity for international cancer control; and 3) foster international collaborations and mentorships.

Methods: In-person and web-based sessions addressed fundamentals of human subjects research (HSR), epidemiology, research methods, and interaction of culture/health. Participants were partnered across institutions; with a faculty WU mentor, they held online meetings to identify a research project relevant to INCAN and use the training framework to develop a protocol. Evaluation was conducted continuously.

Results: Ten individuals (n=5 INCAN, 5 WU) participated. Baseline evaluation indicated low/average confidence in research methods/ethics, with desire for training in study design. Post-session evaluations indicated improvement, with recognition of the need to continue training. Sessions in Guatemala generated substantial interest among INCAN clinicians.

Recommendations: Web-based lectures and meetings are viable ways to implement research training, enhance program sustainability, and foster international collaborations with a low-resource country like Guatemala. On-site visits are fundamental to raise awareness, provide feedback, and gain institutional support. Formal integration with postdoctoral/residency training in the US and Guatemala will strengthen sustainability.

Learning Areas:
Chronic disease management and prevention
Diversity and culture
Program planning
Public health or related education
Public health or related research

Learning Objectives:
Describe approaches to foster research training and international collaboration with developing countries, such as Guatemala. Discuss approaches for sustaining research training and collaborations with a resource-challeneged country.

Keywords: International Public Health, Latin American

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I am a co-Investigator on the project, am involved with development and administration of the program, and serve as a faculty mentor as part of grant activities.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.