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Dorte Guldbrand Nielsen

Physiology knowledge plays a role when novices learn technical echocardiography skills

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  • Unit of Medical Education
  • The Department of Internal Medicine and Cardiology A
Purpose: Little is known about factors of relevance for achieving technical skills of echocardiography (TTE); one of the essential skills defined by the European Society of Cardiology Core Curriculum.
In an earlier study we have shown that there is a strong correlation between physiology knowledge and interpretation skills of intermediately trained echocardiographers. This study investigates the role of physiology knowledge in the development of echocardiographic technical expertise.
Methods: Forty-five physicians (15 novices, 15 intermediates and 15 experts) were evaluated on technical skills. Participants scanned a standardized patient and recorded pre-defined TTE images based on Danish Cardiology Society guidelines. Loops of 2D images and colour Doppler images were recorded as well as PW and CW curves. A structured checklist for evaluation of technical skills was developed. Two experts then graded each image recorded on the checklist from very poor (1) to very good (5). An average quality of images was calculated with 3 as the cut off for images suitable for interpretation. The echocardiography technical skills scores of the 45 physicians were then correlated with their scores on a MCQ test of echocardiography relevant physiology knowledge.
Results: A strong and significant correlation between expertise level and technical checklist scores was found (r = .76, p < .001), novices scoring lower than intermediates (p = .0003) and intermediates scoring lower than experts (p =.0001) supporting validity of the test.
A weak, but significant correlation was found between expertise level and physiology score (r = .41, p < .006), experts scoring significant higher than novices (p = .004).
A significant correlation was found between technical skills checklist scores and physiology scores for novices (r = .57, p = .03), but not for intermediates (r = .47, p = .1) or experts (r = .29, p =.32).
Conclusions: Results support the validity of technical checklist scores as an assessment tool for echocardiography technical skills. Physiology knowledge is significantly correlated to echocardiographic technical skills in novices only, even though a moderate correlation was also found for intermediates. Further studies are needed to investigate the implications of these findings in daily practice when
Original languageDanish
JournalEuropean Journal of Echocardiography
Pages (from-to)ii124
Publication statusPublished - 10 Dec 2010
EventEURO Echo 2010 - København, Denmark
Duration: 8 Oct 201011 Oct 2010


ConferenceEURO Echo 2010

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