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Dorte Guldbrand Nielsen

The role of biomedical knowledge in echocardiographic interpretation expertise development: a correlation study

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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 knowledge of echocardiography (TTE); one of the essential skills defined by the European Society of Cardiology Core Curriculum. Recent research in other fields suggests that biomedical knowledge plays a more prominent role in professional practice than previously assumed. This study investigates the role of biomedical knowledge represented by physiology knowledge in the development of echocardiographic expertise.
Methods: Forty-five physicians (15 novices, 15 intermediates and 15 experts) were evaluated on echocardiography interpretation skills. An anatomical focused checklist was developed based on Danish Cardiology Society guidelines for a standard echocardiography of adults. A TTE case of a common and complex clinical presentation was recorded and presented to participants on a portable computer using EchoPac software. Participants made an immediate diagnosis and after that filled out the checklist of possible pathologies. Each correct answer was awarded one point, with a possible maximum score of 111.
The echocardiography interpretation 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 scores on the TTE interpretation checklist was found (r = 0.70, p < .001) supporting validity of the test. A weak, but significant correlation was found between expertise level and physiology score (r = 0.41, p < .006), experts scoring significant higher than novices (p = 0.004).
A strong correlation was found between interpretation checklist scores and physiology scores for intermediates (r = 0.78, p = 0.0006), but not for novices or experts (r = −.35 and r = 0.03).
Conclusions: Basic science represented by physiology knowledge is strongly correlated to echocardiographic interpretation skills in intermediates only, even though a significant correlation between physiology knowledge and level of expertise was found. Further studies are needed to investigate the implications of these findings in daily practice when teaching
Original languageEnglish
JournalEuropean Journal of Echocardiography
Issuesuppl 2
Pages (from-to)ii89
Publication statusPublished - 2010
EventAbstracts of the Fourteenth Annual Meeting of the European Association of Echocardiography, a registered branch of the ESC. 8-11 December 2010, Copenhagen, Denmark - Copenhagen, Denmark
Duration: 8 Dec 2010 → …


ConferenceAbstracts of the Fourteenth Annual Meeting of the European Association of Echocardiography, a registered branch of the ESC. 8-11 December 2010, Copenhagen, Denmark
Period08/12/2010 → …

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