Training Thoracic Ultrasound Skills: A Randomized Controlled Trial of Simulation-Based Training versus Training on Healthy Volunteers

Pia Iben Pietersen, Rasmus Jørgensen, Ole Graumann, Lars Konge, Søren Helbo Skaarup, Hans Henrik Lawaetz Schultz, Christian B Laursen

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review

Abstract

INTRODUCTION: As ultrasound becomes more accessible, the use of point-of-care ultrasound examinations performed by clinicians has increased. Sufficient theoretical and practical skills are prerequisites to integrate thoracic ultrasound into a clinical setting and to use it as supplement in the clinical decision-making. Recommendations on how to educate and train clinicians for these ultrasound examinations are debated, and simulation-based training may improve clinical performance.

OBJECTIVES: The aim of this study was to explore the effect of simulation-based training in thoracic ultrasound compared to training on healthy volunteers.

METHOD: A total of 66 physicians with no previous experience in thoracic ultrasound completed a training program and assessment of competences from November 2018 to May 2019. After a theoretical session in ultrasound physics, sonoanatomy, and thoracic ultrasound, the physicians were randomized into one of three groups for practical training: (1) simulation-based training, (2) training on a healthy volunteer, or (3) no training (control group). Primary outcome was difference in the clinical performance score after the training period.

RESULTS: Using a multiple comparison, ANOVA with Bonferroni correction for multiplicity, there was no statistical significant difference between the two trained groups' performance score: 45.1 points versus 41.9 points (minimum 17 points, maximum 68 points; p = 0.38). The simulation-based training group scored significantly higher than the control group without hands-on training, 36.7 points (p = 0.009).

CONCLUSIONS: The use of simulation-based training in thoracic ultrasound does not improve the clinical performance score compared to conventional training on healthy volunteers. As focused, thoracic ultrasound is a relatively uncomplicated practical procedure when taught; focus should mainly be on the theoretical part and the supervised clinical training in a curriculum. However, simulation can be used instead or as an add-on to training on simulated patients.

Original languageEnglish
JournalRespiration
Volume100
Issue number1
Pages (from-to)34-43
ISSN0025-7931
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2021

Keywords

  • Chest ultrasound
  • Education
  • Simulation
  • Training
  • Ultrasound

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