Economics of Primary Trauma Care Course

Evaluation of economic impact and outcome of the Primary Trauma Care Course on road trauma treatment in Vietnam

Degree type


Closing date

25 September 2023



Citizenship requirement

Domestic / International

About the research project

1. Introduction

This project will be the first ever globally to assess the cost implications of providing a Tasmanian-developed education program that improves the first management of road trauma patients. It builds upon the almost completed PhD work of one of my current PhD students who has investigated the clinical impact of the Primary Trauma Care course on patient outcomes in Vietnam. Road trauma is a significant public health concern, and its burden has been increasing in Vietnam.

In 2018, 23,000 people experienced road trauma, with 8,200 deaths:

  1. It is the leading cause of death in people aged 15 to 44 years
  2. The Vietnamese government has made efforts to alleviate the situation. The mandatory wearing of motorcycle helmet legislation was implemented in 2007, resulting in a 16% reduction of road traffic head injury over a period of 3 months in 20 hospitals
  3. The penalties for people accused of breaking traffic laws has also increased. Parliament has also approved a new law to show zero tolerance for alcohol while driving, which was enacted in January 2020.

Previous efforts to reduce road accidents have mainly focused on prevention. However, there has been limited attention given to pre-hospital and hospital environments. When a road accident occurs, the majority of patients are taken to local hospitals' emergency departments, where they receive initial treatment and triage for road trauma. If the severity of the injury exceeds the hospital's capacity, the patient is then transferred to a more suitable healthcare centre.

The management of road trauma patients requires prompt and appropriate care to improve outcomes and reduce the associated financial burden. The Primary Trauma Care (PTC) course is a globally recognized training program designed to enhance the skills and knowledge of healthcare providers in the initial management of trauma patients. PTC was delivered in Viet Duc Hospital (one of the largest road trauma care centres in Vietnam) and many locations, such as Binh Dinh, Ha Long (2007), Ninh Binh (2012) and Ho Chi Minh City (2018), where it was well received by participants. Nevertheless, there is limited research evaluating the impact of PTC on the cost of road trauma treatment in Vietnam. This research proposal aims to address this gap by evaluating the impact and outcome of the PTC course on the cost of treatment for trauma patients in Vietnam.

2. Objectives

This research aims to assess the impact of the PTC course on the cost of treatment for trauma patients in Vietnam. Specific objectives include:

  1. Assessing the change in the cost of treatment for trauma patients before and after the implementation of the PTC course.
  2. Assessing the cost-effectiveness of the PTC course on road trauma management in Vietnam.

3. Intended methodology

a. Study Design

A mixed-methods research design will be employed. This will involve both quantitative analysis of cost data and qualitative analysis of healthcare provider perspectives.

b. Study Setting

The study will be conducted in select hospitals and healthcare facilities in Vietnam, representing different regions and levels of care.

c. Quantitative data collection and analysis:

  1. Data collection: Relevant cost data will be extracted from medical records of trauma patients who received treatment before and after the implementation of the PTC course at Viet Duc Hospital. The data will include direct medical costs, such as costs for examination, diagnostic tests, imaging, functional exploration, operations, medications and consumables.
  2. Data analysis: A comparison of the pre- and post-PTC groups will be performed using statistical tests to determine if there is a significant difference in the cost of treatment. Multivariate analysis/Regression (e.g. GLMs) will also be utilized to examine the change in cost associated with the intervention. QALY and ICER will be calculated for the assessment of cost-effectiveness.

d. Qualitative data collection and analysis:

  1. Semi-structured interviews: Healthcare providers who have completed the PTC course will be interviewed to understand their perspectives on the impact of the training on the cost of treatment. Interviews will be audio-recorded and transcribed.
  2. Thematic analysis: Transcribed interviews will be analyzed thematically to identify key themes related to cost reduction, and the overall effectiveness of the PTC course.

4. Expected Outcomes and Significance

This study aims to provide valuable insights into the impact of the PTC course on the cost of treatment for road trauma patients in Vietnam. The findings will help healthcare policymakers and providers make evidence-based decisions regarding the implementation and utilization of the PTC course. If the PTC course is shown to be cost-effective in reducing the overall cost burden of road trauma management, it could have significant implications for improving road trauma care in Vietnam and potentially other low- and middle-income countries facing similar challenges.


  • Vietnamnet. Over 20 people die of traffic accidents per day in Vietnam
  • Passmore J. Road Safety in Viet Nam Issues, Successes & Challenges. presented at: BJD Decade World Network Conference; 2012; Ho Chi Minh City
  • Jonathon Passmore TN, Luong MA, Chinh ND, Nam NP. Impact of mandatory motorcycle helmet wearing legislation on head injuries in Viet Nam: results of a preliminary analysis. Traffic Injury Prevention. 2010;11(2):202-206. doi:10.1080/15389580903497121
  • Vnexpress. New law to show zero tolerance for alcohol while driving. https://evnexpressnet/news/news/new-law-to-show-zero-tolerance-for-alcohol-while-driving-3938645html. 2019

Primary Supervisor

Meet Prof Andrew Palmer


Applicants will be considered for a Research Training Program (RTP) scholarship or Tasmania Graduate Research Scholarship (TGRS) which, if successful, provides:

  • a living allowance stipend of $31,500 per annum (2023 rate, indexed annually) for 3.5 years
  • a relocation allowance of up to $2,000
  • a tuition fees offset covering the cost of tuition fees for up to four years (domestic applicants only)

If successful, international applicants will receive a University of Tasmania Fees Offset for up to four years.

As part of the application process you may indicate if you do not wish to be considered for scholarship funding.

Other funding opportunities and fees

For further information regarding other scholarships on offer, and the various fees of undertaking a research degree, please visit our Scholarships and fees on research degrees page.


Applicants should review the Higher Degree by Research minimum entry requirements.

Ensure your eligibility for the scholarship round by referring to our Key Dates.

Selection Criteria

The project is competitively assessed and awarded.  Selection is based on academic merit and suitability to the project as determined by the College.

Additional desirable selection criteria specific to this project:

  • Health services research, health economics, epidemiology

Application process

  1. Select your project, and check that you meet the eligibility and selection criteria, including citizenship;
  2. Contact Prof Andrew Palmer to discuss your suitability and the project's requirements; and
  3. In your application:
    • Copy and paste the title of the project from this advertisement into your application. If you don’t correctly do this your application may be rejected.
    • Submit a signed supervisory support form, a CV including contact details of 2 referees and your project research proposal.
  4. Apply prior to 25 September 2023.

Full details of the application process can be found under the 'How to apply' section of the Research Degrees website.

Following the closing date applications will be assessed within the College. Applicants should expect to receive notification of the outcome by email by the advertised outcome date.

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