Variable adherence to standardized case definitions, clinical procedures, specimen collection techniques, and laboratory methods has complicated the interpretation of previous multicenter pneumonia etiology studies. To circumvent these problems, a program of clinical standardization was embedded in the Pneumonia Etiology Research for Child Health (PERCH) study. Between March 2011 and August 2013, standardized training on the PERCH case definition, clinical procedures, and collection of laboratory specimens was delivered to 331 clinical staff at 9 study sites in 7 countries (The Gambia, Kenya, Mali, South Africa, Zambia, Thailand, and Bangladesh), through 32 on-site courses and a training website. Staff competency was assessed throughout 24 months of enrollment with multiple-choice question (MCQ) examinations, a video quiz, and checklist evaluations of practical skills.

6th March 2017 • comment