Perceptions and valuation of a community-based education and service (COBES) program in Uganda

Larry W. Chang, Dan Kaye, Wilson W. Muhwezi, Rose C. Nabirye, Scovia Mbalinda, Isaac Okullo, Sara L Groves, Caitlin E. Kennedy, Robert C. Bollinger, Stephen Sisson, Gilbert Burnham, Andrew Mwanika

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

14 Scopus citations


Background: Community-based education and service (COBES) has been promoted to improve the education of health professionals, particularly in low-resource settings. However, few evaluations have been performed to guide program development. Aim: This study assessed student and educator perceptions and valuation of a Ugandan COBES program. Methods: We administered an internet-based survey to students, faculty, and site tutors associated with the Makerere University College of Health Sciences COBES program. Results: 255 surveys were completed. Response rates varied (students, 188/684, 27.5%; faculty-site supervisors, 15/23, 65.2%; faculty general, 38/312, 12.2%; site tutors, 14/27, 51.9%). Students valued the COBES program (93.5% some/high value). Tutors enjoyed their work (92.9% agreeing/strongly agreeing). Faculty (n=53) felt COBES was valuable (90.2% agreeing/strongly agreeing). High student valuation was associated with high quality accommodation (aOR 4.7, 95% CI=1.6-13.4), free accommodation (aOR 2.9, 95% CI=1.2-6.8), and tutors who demonstrated enthusiasm for teaching (aOR 3.4, 95% CI=1.1-10.0). Areas identified for improvement included financial support, student preparation, and tutor training, feedback, and supervision. Conclusion: In this study, COBES was perceived positively by students and educators and learning environment and quality of teaching both contributed to valuation of COBES. Well-implemented COBES programs may offer an opportunity to enhance health sciences education.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)e9-e15
JournalMedical teacher
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2011

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Education


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