Table 4

Sustainable characteristics of short-term missions

Authors (year)YearsNumber and frequencyLong-term relationshipTeaching objectiveAdvancement of local staffQuality follow-up and sustainable characteristics†
Consecutive missions to the same countryConsecutive missions to the same region/cityConsecutive missions with (part of the) same teamPartnershipTraining local staffLectures
Advice on logistics within healthcare systemEncouraging medical independence of local staffParticipation of local staff in surgical care and pre-op and/or post-op careFellowship abroadProviding medical suppliesStudies that reported both on follow-up details and sustainable characteristics
Aziz et al (2009)27 2006–20083 (annual)
Bello et al (2018)28 2011–201717
Baran et al (2007)29
Bermudez et al (2009)30 2007
Borghese et al (2005)31 2002–2003
Bouman et al (2010)32 2007–20084 (biannual)
Calis et al (2016)33 2009–20146 (annual)
Daniels et al (2016)34
El Ezzi et al (2017)35 2002–20119 (biannual)
Fayyaz et al (2015)36 2004–present130
Figus et al (2009)37 1988–present47
Fuzaylov et al (2015)38 2011–20133 (annual)
Guneren et al (2015)40 2007–201427
Hughes et al (2012)43 1996–201116 (annual)
MacIntosh et al (2013)46 1993–present(biannual)
Madsen et al (2015)47 2005–2009(annual)
Maine et al (2012)49 2000–2005
Marck et al (2010)50 2007–20082 (annual)
McClenaghan et al (2013)51 2012
McQueen et al (2007)53 2005
Merrel et al (2007)54 1990–200411
Moon et al (2012)55 2007–20104 (annual)
Navarro (2015)56 1994–2014141 (10 annually)
Park et al (2018)39 2010–20112
Rivera et a l (2013)58 20071
de Buys Roessingh et al (2012)16 1993–2008(annual)
Rossell-Perry et al (2015)60 2002–2012
Uemura et al (2015)64 1988–2008458
Uetani et al (2006)65 1993–2003
Reported by 23 studiesReported by 13 studiesReported by 9 studiesReported by 9 studiesReported by 13 studiesReported by 8 studiesReported by 4 studiesReported by 4 studiesReported by 18 studiesReported by 4 studiesReported by 9 studiesReported by 15 studies (75%) of all 20 studies that reported on follow-up details
  • In order to determine whether or not missions were sustainable, the data were collected and allocated to three groups, ie, building long-term relationships, teaching objectives during the mission and the advancement of local staff. Each sustainability group is divided into different subsets. A checkmark (✓) means the study describes the concomitant form of sustainable health care.

  • *Part of the Operation Smile International (OSI) programme.

  • †Added to this table were studies that reported both on sustainable27 28 characteristics and on quality of follow-up (including length and rate of follow-up and complication rate). Eight studies with follow-up shorter than 180 days (■ marks), seven studies with follow-up29 30 up longer than 180 days (◊ marks). Five studies reported on quality of follow-up, but did not report on sustainable characteristics.