OBJECTIVE: To evaluate the immediate effect of hands-on training on the quality of technical skills of laboratory
DESIGN: Retrospective analytical study.
SETTING: Academic institutions and private infertility clinics.
PARTICIPANTS: One hundred and ten laboratory technicians.
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.