Comparative evaluation of a low-cost solar powered otoscope with a traditional device among health care workers in Malawi

Katharine Balfour, Amy McCarthy, Shi Ying Hey, Obaid Kousha, Emmanuel Singano, Wakisa Mulwafu, David F. D. L. Walker, Andrew Blaikie

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

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Abstract

Objectives: To comparatively evaluate a low-cost otoscope with a traditional device among health care workers in Malawi.
Methods: The study is a prospective, comparative, qualitative observational survey of health care worker's opinions using 5-point Likert rating scales and tick box categories in a 10-item survey questionnaire. Twenty-five mixed cadre health care workers from the Ear, Nose, and Throat Department of the Queen Elizabeth Hospital, Blantyre in Malawi were recruited. Outcomes measures used were ease of speculum attachment, handling, insertion, stability, the quality of view, color, build, brightness, overall ease of use, and their suitability for local work.
Results: The low-cost otoscope scored statistically higher in overall combined performance, as well as in the remaining four out of the nine attributes. Notably, 54.2% of users rated the low-cost device more suitable than the traditional device for use in low-middle income countries, 25% were equivocal, and 20.8% preferred the traditional device.
Conclusion: This study found the Arclight otoscope to be an appropriate and practical substitute for more expensive traditional otoscopes for the delivery of ENT services in low resource settings.
Level of Evidence: N/A
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)839-843
Number of pages5
JournalLaryngoscope Investigative Otolaryngology
Volume6
Issue number4
Early online date10 Jun 2021
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2021

Keywords

  • Education
  • Health resources
  • Malawi
  • Otoscopes
  • Quality-adjusted life years

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