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A Virtual Reality Simulation Model of Spinal Ultrasound: Role in Teaching Spinal Sonoanatomy
  1. Reva Ramlogan, MBBS, FRCPC*,
  2. Ahtsham U. Niazi, MBBS, FRCPC,
  3. Rongyu Jin, MD,
  4. James Johnson, MBBS, FANZCA,
  5. Vincent W. Chan, MD, FRCPC and
  6. Anahi Perlas, MD, FRCPC
  1. *Department of Anesthesiology and Pain Medicine, The Ottawa Hospital, University of Ottawa, Ottawa
  2. Department of Anesthesia and Pain Management, Toronto Western Hospital, University Health Network, Toronto, Ontario, Canada
  1. correspondence: Ahtsham U. Niazi, MBBS, FRCPC, Department of Anesthesia and Pain Management, Toronto Western Hospital, University Health Network, 399 Bathurst St, Toronto, Ontario, Canada M5T 2S8 (e-mail: ahtsham.niazi{at}uhn.ca).

Abstract

Background and Objectives Ultrasound assessment of the lumbar spine improves the success of spinal and epidural anesthesia, especially for patients with underlying difficult anatomy. To assist with the teaching and learning of ultrasound-guided neuraxial anesthesia, we have created an online interactive educational model (http://www.usra.ca/vspine.php and http://pie.med.utoronto.ca/vspine). The aim of the current study was to determine whether the virtual spine model improved the knowledge of neuraxial anatomy and sonoanatomy.

Methods After obtaining ethics board approval and written participant consent, 14 anesthesia trainees with no prior experience with spine ultrasound imaging were included in this study. Construct validity was assessed using a pretest/posttest design to measure the knowledge acquired from self-study of the virtual spine simulation modules. Two tests (A and B) with 20 multiple-choice questions were used either for the pretest or posttest, at random in order to account for possible differences in difficulty between the 2 tests. These tests were administered immediately before and after a 1-hour training session using the spine ultrasound model.

Results Fourteen anesthesia trainees completed the study. Seven used test A as the pretest (group A), and 7 used test B as the pretest (group B). Both groups showed a statistically significant improvement (P < 0.05) in test scores after a 1-hour session with the spine ultrasound model. The mean scores were 55% (SD, 11.2%) on the pretest and 77% (SD, 8.7%) on the posttest.

Conclusions The study demonstrated that after 1 hour of self-study by the trainees on the spine ultrasound model test scores improved by 40%.

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Footnotes

  • The authors declare no conflict of interest.

    Funding was provided by a peer-reviewed grant from the PSI Foundation (10Q2109), Canada.

    This study was presented in part as an oral poster presentation at the 40th Annual Regional Anesthesiology and Acute Pain meeting of the American Society of Regional Anesthesia and Pain Medicine, May 14 to 16, 2015, Las Vegas, Nevada.

    This work is attributed to the Department of Anesthesia Pain Management, Toronto Western Hospital, University Health Network, Toronto, Ontario, Canada.

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