Teaching Biomedical Statistics to Nurse-Practitioners in Sub-Saharan Africa—The Example of “Intention to Treat” Shows Our Challenges and Dilemmas


Introduction: African nurse practitioners experience specific challenges, when faced with complex clinical trials implemented in their country. Method: Teaching challenges for African nurse practitioners were extracted from courses we conducted in Malawi. Participants attending the courses were nurse practitioners at various stages of their education ranging from nurses and medical assistants to the clinical officer with a BSc degree. Results: We identified four dilemmas for our participants: the “Taliban dilemma”, the “significance dilemma”, the “drop-out dilemma” and the “reality dilemma”. These dilemmas lead to five teaching challenges in the African context. Challenges in the context are theoretical complexity, imposed opinions, hierarchical implications, African enthusiasm and mysticism. Conclusions: The nurse practitioners, working in remote district hospitals need specific support to be able to scrutinize research papers which are meant to be implemented in their hospitals in order to secure their cooperation and dedication.

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Pollach, G. , Graf, U. and Place, D. (2014) Teaching Biomedical Statistics to Nurse-Practitioners in Sub-Saharan Africa—The Example of “Intention to Treat” Shows Our Challenges and Dilemmas. International Journal of Clinical Medicine, 5, 1221-1227. doi: 10.4236/ijcm.2014.519156.

Conflicts of Interest

The authors declare no conflicts of interest.


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