Does access to a portable ophthalmoscope improve skill acquisition in direct ophthalmoscopy? A method comparison study in undergraduate medical education.

Gilmour-White, J A and Picton, A and Blaikie, A and Denniston, A K and Blanch, R and Coleman, J and Murray, P I (2019) Does access to a portable ophthalmoscope improve skill acquisition in direct ophthalmoscopy? A method comparison study in undergraduate medical education. BMC medical education, 19 (1). p. 201. ISSN 1472-6920. OPEN ACCESS Freely available

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Abstract

BACKGROUND

Direct ophthalmoscopy (DO) is an essential skill for medical graduates but there are multiple barriers to learning this. Medical students and junior doctors typically lack confidence in DO. Most students do not own an ophthalmoscope and learn via ward devices that vary in design and usability. The Arclight ophthalmoscope (AO) is an easy to use, low-cost and portable device that could help address device access. This study aimed to assess the impact of personal ownership of an AO on DO skill acquisition and competency amongst medical students in the clinical environment.

METHODS

Method comparison study with 42 medical students randomised to either traditional device ophthalmoscope (TDO) control or AO intervention group during an 18-week medical placement. Three objective assessments of DO competency were performed at the beginning and end of the placement: vertical cup to disc ratio (VCDR) measurement, fundus photo multiple-choice questions (F-MCQ) and model slide examination (MSE). DO examinations performed during the placement were recorded via an electronic logbook.

RESULTS

Students in both groups recorded a median number of six examinations each during an eighteen-week placement. There was no statistically significant difference between the groups in any of the objective assessment measures (VCDR p = 0.561, MCQ p = 0.872, Model p = 0.772). Both groups demonstrated a minor improvement in VCDR measurement but a negative performance change in F-MCQ and MSE assessments.

CONCLUSIONS

Students do not practice ophthalmoscopy often, even with constant access to their own portable device. The lack of significant difference between the groups suggests that device access alone is not the major factor affecting frequency of DO performance and consequent skill acquisition. Improving student engagement with ophthalmoscopy will require a more wide-ranging approach.

Item Type: Article
Additional Information: OPEN ACCESS Freely available
Subjects: WW Eyes. Ophthalmology
Divisions: Ambulatory Care > Ophthalmology
Related URLs:
Depositing User: Mr Philip O'Reilly
Date Deposited: 26 Jun 2019 10:09
Last Modified: 26 Jun 2019 10:09
URI: http://www.repository.heartofengland.nhs.uk/id/eprint/2187

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