Objective: To study the effect of initial simulation-based transvaginal sonography (TVS) training compared with clinical training only, on the clinical performance of residents in obstetrics and gynecology (Ob-Gyn), assessed 2 months into their residency.
Methods: In a randomized study, new Ob-Gyn residents (n = 33) with no prior ultrasound experience were recruited from three teaching hospitals. Participants were allocated to either simulation-based training followed by clinical training (intervention group; n = 18) or clinical training only (control group; n = 15). The simulation-based training was performed using a virtual-reality TVS simulator until an expert performance level was attained, and was followed by training on a pelvic mannequin. After 2 months of clinical training, one TVS examination was recorded for assessment of each resident's clinical performance (n = 26). Two ultrasound experts blinded to group allocation rated the scans using the Objective Structured Assessment of Ultrasound Skills (OSAUS) scale.
Results: During the 2 months of clinical training, participants in the intervention and control groups completed an average ± SD of 58 ± 41 and 63 ± 47 scans, respectively (P = 0.67). In the subsequent clinical performance test, the intervention group achieved higher OSAUS scores than did the control group (mean score, 59.1% vs 37.6%, respectively; P < 0.001). A greater proportion of the intervention group passed a pre-established pass/fail level than did controls (85.7% vs 8.3%, respectively; P < 0.001).
Conclusion: Simulation-based ultrasound training leads to substantial improvement in clinical performance that is sustained after 2 months of clinical training. © 2015 The Authors. Ultrasound in Obstetrics & Gynecology published by John Wiley & Sons Ltd on behalf of the International Society of Ultrasound in Obstetrics and Gynecology.
Trial registration: ClinicalTrials.gov NCT01895868.
Keywords: medical education; simulation-based medical education; simulation-based ultrasound training; transvaginal; ultrasound assessment; ultrasound competence.
© 2015 The Authors. Ultrasound in Obstetrics & Gynecology published by John Wiley & Sons Ltd on behalf of the International Society of Ultrasound in Obstetrics and Gynecology.