Feasibility and diagnostic accuracy of Telephone Administration of an adapted patient-reported Wound HeaLth QuestiONnaire for assessment of Surgical Site Infection (SSI) following abdominal surgery in low and middle-income countries (TALON)

TALON is a substudy embedded in the FALCON and ChEETAh trials, run as part of an NIHR Doctoral Research Fellowship in Global Surgery. The aim of the substudies is to improve the quality and efficiency of surgical trial methodology across low- and middle-income countries.

We are very interested in hearing from anyone interested in trial methodology or outcome research in Low and Middle-income Countries.

Please contact us to open the discussion!

TALON Overview

The current ‘gold standard’ for assessment of Surgical Site Infection (SSI) during the 30-days after surgery is an in-person review according to Centre for Disease Control Criteria. However, in-person assessment is labour and time intensive, and requires patients to take additional time-off work and incur costs of travel. More efficient follow-up pathways are required, for example over the telephone, that are of equal quality to in-person wound assessment. This has become particularly relevant in light of the COVID-19 pandemic, where visits to hospital put patients at increased risk of cross-infection.

TALON is a multi-centre, international, non-randomised Study Within a Trial, divided into two sections (TALON-1 and TALON-2). The overall aim is to evaluate the feasibility and validity of telephone administration of patient-reported questionnaire for wound follow-up in low resource settings.

TALON-1: Objectives

  1. To assess patient acceptability, cross-cultural and cross-language equivalence, and content validity of the Wound Healing Questionnaire (WHQ) across LMICs.
  2. To assess the scaling and psychometric properties of the Wound Health Questionnaire when used across different patient populations and subgroup
  3. To adapt the WHQ to improve validity of the PROM across different LMICs









TALON-2: Objectives

  1. To evaluate the diagnostic accuracy of telephone administration of the WHQ in evaluation of abdominal surgical site infection across LMICs
  2. To assess the feasibility of delivery of the telephone WHQ by a non-surgeon researcher within the CHEETAH trial
  3. To assess the feasibility of wound photography as a diagnostic adjunct for telephone-based wound follow-up

You can view the TALON Statistical Analysis Plan here: TALON – Statistical Analysis Plan (V1-0)