Introduction Performing a pelvic examination is a core skill for all medical undergraduates. The use of hybrid simulation, manikin with patient actress, to attain technical and communication skills competencies and to improve the quality of care we offer women, has not been compared to other teaching methods before. Outcome measures were technical skills, communication skills and confidence in completing a pelvic examination.
Methods A cluster randomised control trial was conducted over an academic year. Forty-eight medical students who completed an 8-week obstetrics and gynaecology attachment were recruited. Clusters were randomly assigned for initial training on hybrid or manikin only models and attended an end of attachment Objective Structured Clinical Assessment.
Results Outcome data were received for 43/48 students (89.5%). Following the objectively structured clinical examination, the hybrid trained cohort had higher technical scores (mean 23 (95% CI 20.1 to 25.8) vs 16.7 (CI 14.7 to 18.6); mean difference 6.3, CI 3.0 to 9.6) and communication skills scores (mean 22.6 (CI 21.2 to 23.8) vs 15.9 (CI 14.4 to 17.3); mean difference 6.7, CI 4.8 to 8.5) compared to the manikin only trained participants. Confidence in undertaking future pelvic examinations were similar in the control and intervention groups; (p=0.10, r=0.18).
Conclusions This study demonstrates the value of hybrid simulation compared to manikins alone in improving the short-term acquisition of competence in simulated pelvic examinations at an undergraduate level. Future research should focus on whether hybrid models lead to long-term acquisition of skill and comparison of these models with other innovative methods such as clinical teaching associates.
- pelvic examination
- hybrid simulation
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