A structured Endoscopic Ultrasound training program in Germany improves knowledge and competence

Med Ultrason. 2021 Jun 10. doi: 10.11152/mu-2892. Online ahead of print.


Aims: Limited evidence on how to organize pre-patient training in Endoscopic Ultrasound (EUS) and how to evaluate its effect on knowledge and skills are available. The aim of our study was to assess the impact of a structured multi-site training program on EUS competence in Germany.

Material and methods: In a prospective study design, evaluation of 64 trainees was conducted during four three-day training courses with equal curricula at three sites. Participants completed a structured pre- and post-test questionnaire consisting of 4 items to evaluate the relevance and acceptance of the training components (theoretical teaching, video sessions, live demonstration, hands-on experience) on a 5-point Likert scale, as well as a Likert scale to judge the self-rated improvement in EUS competence. To assess knowledge, 12 multiple choice (MC) questions had to be answered by all participants in a pre- and a post-test design. Also differences between beginners and advanced learners were analysed.

Results: Overall evaluation on acceptance received above-average results with a median of 4 or 5 (IQR 1-2) on Likert scale (1=completely disagree, 5=completely agree). In the post-test self-rated EUS skills improved from 4 to 2 on the Likert scale (IQR=1, p=0.001, 1=excellent EUS skills, 5=no EUS skills). Results of the MC-test of all trainees showed significant improvement in theoretical knowledge from 7.9±1.9 to 8.8±1.9 points (mean±SD, p=0.001).

Conclusions: Our study provides arguments for the usefulness of a structured EUS training program resulting in a positive acceptance and high self-rated EUS competence by the participants and significant improvements in knowledge.