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A Randomized Trial of Simulation-Based Versus Conventional Training of Dental Student Skill at Interpreting Spatial Information in Radiographs.
Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Odontology, Oral and Maxillofacial Radiology.
Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Psychology.
Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Odontology, Oral and Maxillofacial Radiology.
2007 (English)In: The Journal of the Society for Simulation in Healthcare.: Simulation in Healthcare:, ISSN 1559-2332, Vol. 2, no 3, 164-169 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Abstract Introduction: A radiology simulator has been developed. We tested the simulator with students in an oral radiology program for training interpretation of spatial relations in radiographs utilizing parallax. The aim of the study was to compare learning outcome regarding interpretative skill after training in the simulator vs. after conventional training.

Methods: Fifty-seven dental students voluntarily participated in a randomized experimental study. The participants' proficiency in interpretation of spatial information in radiographs and their visual-spatial ability was assessed. Proficiency was assessed by a test instrument designed by the authors and visual-spatial ability with the Mental Rotations Test, version A (MRT-A). Randomization to training group was based on pre-training proficiency test results. The experimental group trained in the simulator and the control group received conventional training. Training lasted for 90 minutes for both groups. Immediately after training a second proficiency test was performed.

Results: The proficiency test results were significantly higher after training for the experimental group (P <= 0.01), but not for the control group. Univariate variance analysis of difference in proficiency test score revealed a significant interaction effect (P = 0.03) between training group and MRT-A category; in the experimental group there was a stronger training effect among students with low level of MRT-A.

Conclusions: Training in the simulator improved skill in interpreting spatial information in radiographs when evaluated immediately after training. For individuals with low visual-spatial ability simulator based training seems to be more beneficial than conventional training.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2007. Vol. 2, no 3, 164-169 p.
National Category
URN: urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-17880DOI: 10.1097/SIH.0b013e31811ec254PubMedID: 19088619OAI: diva2:157553
Available from: 2008-01-23 Created: 2008-01-23 Last updated: 2009-09-23Bibliographically approved
In thesis
1. Simulation supported training in oral radiology: methods and impact on interpretative skill
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Simulation supported training in oral radiology: methods and impact on interpretative skill
2007 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

Simulation is an important tool when training is hazardous, time consuming, or expensive. Simulation can also be used to enhance reality by adding features normally not available in the real world. The aim with this work has been to develop and evaluate methods that could improve learning in oral radiology utilising a radiation-free simulator environment.

Virtual reality software for radiographic examinations was developed. The virtual environment consisted of a model of a patient, an x-ray machine, and a film. Simulated radiographic images of the patient model could be rendered as perspective projections based on the relative position between the individual models. The software was incorporated in an oral radiology simulator with a training program for interpretation of spatial relations in radiographs. Projection geometry was validated by comparing length dimensions in simulated radiographs with the corresponding theoretically calculated distances. The results showed that projection error in the simulated images never exceeded 0.5 mm.

Dental students participated in studies on skill in interpreting spatial information in radiographs utilising parallax. Conventional and simulator based training methods were used. Training lasted for 90 minutes. Skill in interpreting spatial information was assessed with a proficiency test before training, immediately after training, and eight months after training. Visual-spatial ability was assessed with mental rotations test, version A (MRT-A). Regression analysis revealed a significant (P<0.01) association between visual-spatial ability and proficiency test results after training. At simulator training, proficiency test results immediately after training were significantly higher than before training (P<0.01). Among students with low MTR-A scores, improvement after simulator training was higher than after conventional training. Eight months after simulator training proficiency test results were lower than immediately after training. The test results were, however, still higher than before training.

In conclusion, the simulation software produces simulated radiographs of high geometric accuracy. Acquisition of skill to interpret spatial relations in radiographs is facilitated for individuals with high visual-spatial ability. Simulator training improves acquisition of interpretative skill and is especially beneficial for individuals with low visual-spatial ability. The results indicate that radiology simulation can be an effective training method.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Umeå: Odontologi, 2007. 52 p.
Umeå University odontological dissertations, ISSN 0345-7532 ; 99
Virtual reality, simulation, simulator, radiology, radiography, learning, skill acquisition, visual-spatial ability, parallax
National Category
Radiology, Nuclear Medicine and Medical Imaging
Research subject
urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-1118 (URN)978-91-7264-293-5 (ISBN)
Public defence
2007-05-25, Sal B, 1D, Tandläkarhögskolan, 9 tr, Umeå, 09:00 (English)
Available from: 2007-05-08 Created: 2007-05-08 Last updated: 2009-06-15Bibliographically approved

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Nilsson, Tore AHedman, LeifAhlqvist, Jan B
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