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Effectiveness of simulator-based echocardiography training of noncardiologists in congenital heart diseases

: Wagner, R.; Razek, V.; Gräfe, F.; Berlage, T.; Janousek, J.; Daehnert, I.; Weidenbach, M.


Echocardiography 30 (2013), Nr.6, S.693-698
ISSN: 0742-2822
ISSN: 1540-8175
Fraunhofer FIT ()

Congenital heart diseases (CHD) are responsible for substantial morbidity and mortality in neonates. The preliminary diagnosis often is made by noncardiologists. For this reason, there is a huge demand of training in echocardiography of CHD. This is difficult to achieve due to limited resources of specialized centers.
The goal of this study was to investigate the training effect of the echocardiography simulator EchoCom on trainee's ability to diagnose CHD.
We enrolled 10 residents for simulator-based training in echocardiography of CHD. All participants were instructed on the simulator's basic handling and had one hour to scan the first 9 datasets information (ventricular septal defect, atrial septal defect, atrioventricular septal defect, Tetralogy of Fallot, transposition of great arteries, congenital corrected transposition of great arteries, common arterial trunk, hypoplastic left heart syndrome, normal anatomy) and establish a d iagnosis. No help was given except for support regarding simulator related issues. Afterward, 2 rounds of structured simulator based echocardiography training focused on echocardiographic anatomy, spatial orientation, standard views, and echocardiographic anatomy of different CHD followed. All participants completed a standardized questionnaire containing 10 multiple-choice (MC) questions focusing on basic theoretical knowledge in echocardiographic anatomy and common CHD.
Almost all of the residents invited from the affiliated children's hospital had little (20%) or no experience (80%) in echocardiography of CHD. Their Pretest and Posttest scores showed significant improvement for both, MC test and performance test, respectively.
Our study showed that simulator-based training in echocardiography in CHD could be very effective and may assist with training outside the scope of CHD.