Semenology training programs : 8 years’ experience

14 Jun 2010

OBJECTIVE: To evaluate the immediate effect of hands-on training on the quality of technical skills of laboratory technicians. DESIGN: Retrospective analytical study. SETTING: Academic institutions and private infertility clinics. PARTICIPANTS: One hundred and ten laboratory technicians. INTERVENTION(S): None. MAIN OUTCOME MEASURE(S): First, 110 participants from 16 African countries attended 5-day semenology workshops at Tygerberg Hospital. During these workshops the methodology as described by the World Health Organization manual for the analysis of human semen, namely, sperm concentration, motility, vitality, and morphology, formed part of the curriculum. Second, two experienced morphology readers from the Tygerberg group presented 23 1-day sperm morphology workshops in nine other countries. RESULT(S): The semenology workshops indicated a significant improvement in the evaluation of sperm concentration only, whereas pretraining and posttraining results for motility did not differ. Vitality reports did not differ from those of the experienced worker in the first place. Calculation by means of a linear regression model showed a significant decrease in the mean posttraining scores from the pretraining scores for the sperm morphology courses. CONCLUSION(S): Training improved technical skills for the evaluation of morphology and sperm concentration. The evaluation of graded sperm motility seems to be more difficult to teach over a short period.