Journal article

Screening for rheumatic heart disease: quality and agreement of focused cardiac ultrasound by briefly trained health workers

Daniel Engelman, Joseph H Kado, Bo Remenyi, Samantha M Colquhoun, Jonathan R Carapetis, Nigel J Wilson, Susan Donath, Andrew C Steer



BACKGROUND: Echocardiographic screening for rheumatic heart disease (RHD) has the potential to detect subclinical cases for secondary prevention, but is constrained by inadequate human resources in most settings. Training non-expert health workers to perform focused cardiac ultrasound (FoCUS) may enable screening at a population-level. We aimed to evaluate the quality and agreement of FoCUS for valvular regurgitation by briefly trained health workers. METHODS: Seven nurses participated in an eight week training program in Fiji. Nurses performed FoCUS on 2018 children aged five to 15 years, and assessed any valvular regurgitation. An experienced pediatric cardiologist assessed the quality of ..

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Funding Acknowledgements

The Fiji Ministry of Health and Medical Services and Fiji Ministry of Education supported and facilitated this research. We gratefully acknowledge the contribution of research staff Laisiana Matatolu, Frances Matanatabu, Simione Rokosemudu, Sera Rayasidamu. Carol Fox assisted with training. Caroline Watson provided the study map figure. Staff from Clinical Epidemiology and Biostatistics, Murdoch Childrens Research Institute, assisted with data management. We thank the participating nurses, students and schools. Funding for this project was supported by a grant from Cure Kids New Zealand. DE and ACS are both supported by Australian National Health and Medical Research Council / National Heart Foundation research fellowships. DE is also supported by the University of Melbourne Nossal Global Scholars program. SMC is supported by the Australian National Health and Medical Research Council. None of the funders played a role in the design of the study; in the collection, analysis and interpretation of data; in the writing of the report; or in the decision to submit the paper for publication.