Digital devices for teaching cardiac auscultation – a randomized pilot study.
Authors of this article are:
Legget ME, Toh M, Meintjes A, Fitzsimons S, Gamble G, Doughty RN.
A summary of the article is shown below:
BACKGROUND: Competent cardiac auscultation is a declining skill. Digital stethoscopes and hand-held echocardiography (HHE) are modern devices which may improve the accuracy of heart murmur recognition and diagnosis. Their incremental value compared to conventional examination has not been evaluated in depth.OBJECTIVES: Our aim was to quantify the utility of digital stethoscopes and HHE as teaching aids to improve medical students’ diagnostic accuracy in the evaluation of heart murmurs using a novel clinically weighted scoring system.DESIGN: This pilot study involved eight medical students and eight patients with heart murmurs. Four patients were examined at 2 sessions, 1 week apart. Medical students were randomised into two groups: the ‘intervention group’ examined patients with a standard and digital stethoscope, and then received demonstration of the valvular lesion with HHE to illustrate the diagnosis. The ‘control group’ used a standard stethoscope only and were taught using traditional methods. Students’ scores were compared to a ‘gold standard’ derived from a consensus of auscultation findings of three cardiologists.RESULTS: Overall the mean percent correct of total possible score was 65.4% (SD8.4). Using a mixed models ANOVA approach to repeated measures, the mean [95% CI] increase from training to validation period for the control group was 2.5% [-11.5, 16.5] P(Tukey) = 0.95 and 15.8% [1.7,29.8] P(Tukey) = 0.027 for the intervention group. Between the validation and training sessions for both groups, there was an increase of 9.1% [1.82, 16.4] in scores (p = 0.018). The mean [95% CI] difference in scores of the control and intervention groups was 1.9% [-5.4, 9.2] (p = 0.59). The Cohen’s effect size estimate was 0.9.CONCLUSION: Digital stethoscopes and hand-held echo may be useful devices for teaching cardiac auscultation. This pilot study provides a novel study design, a heart murmur grading system, and data that will help develop definitive studies to assess new teaching techniques for cardiac auscultation using digital technology.
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This article is a good source of information and a good way to become familiar with topics such as:
Digital stethoscope;auscultation training;cardiology;hand-held echocardiography
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