Development of a reliable simulation-based test for diagnostic abdominal ultrasound with a pass/fail standard usable for mastery learning

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articlepeer-review

BACKGROUND: This study aimed to develop a test with validity evidence for abdominal diagnostic ultrasound with a pass/fail-standard to facilitate mastery learning.

METHOD: The simulator had 150 real-life patient abdominal scans of which 15 cases with 44 findings were selected, representing level 1 from The European Federation of Societies for Ultrasound in Medicine and Biology. Four groups of experience levels were constructed: Novices (medical students), trainees (first-year radiology residents), intermediates (third- to fourth-year radiology residents) and advanced (physicians with ultrasound fellowship). Participants were tested in a standardized setup and scored by two blinded reviewers prior to an item analysis.

RESULTS: The item analysis excluded 14 diagnoses. Both internal consistency (Cronbach's alpha 0.96) and inter-rater reliability (0.99) were good and there were statistically significant differences (p < 0.001) between all four groups, except the intermediate and advanced groups (p = 1.0). There was a statistically significant correlation between experience and test scores (Pearson's r = 0.82, p < 0.001). The pass/fail-standard failed all novices (no false positives) and passed all advanced (no false negatives). All intermediate participants and six out of 14 trainees passed.

CONCLUSION: We developed a test for diagnostic abdominal ultrasound with solid validity evidence and a pass/fail-standard without any false-positive or false-negative scores.

KEY POINTS: • Ultrasound training can benefit from competency-based education based on reliable tests. • This simulation-based test can differentiate between competency levels of ultrasound examiners. • This test is suitable for competency-based education, e.g. mastery learning. • We provide a pass/fail standard without false-negative or false-positive scores.

Original languageEnglish
JournalEuropean Radiology
Issue number1
Pages (from-to)51-57
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2018

    Research areas

  • Journal Article

ID: 187260070