Objective To investigate the effectiveness of a virtual reality (VR), three-dimensional (3D) clinically orientated temporal bone anatomy module, including an assessment of different display technologies.
Methods A clinically orientated, procedural and interactive anatomy module was generated from a micro-CT of a cadaveric temporal bone. The module was given in three different display technologies; 2D, 3D with monoscopic vision, and 3D with stereoscopic vision. A randomised control trial assessed the knowledge acquisition and attitudes of 47 medical students though a pretutorial and post-tutorial questionnaire. The questionnaire included questions identifying anatomic structures as well as understanding structural relations and clinical relevance. Furthermore, a five-point Likert scale assessed the students’ attitudes to the module and alternative learning outcomes, such as interest in otology and preparedness for clinical rotations.
Results As a whole cohort, the total test score improved significantly, with a large effect size (p≤0.005, Cohen’s d=1.41). The 23 students who returned the retention questionnaire had a significant improvement in total test score compared with their pretutorial score, with a large effect size (p≤0.005, Cohen’s d=0.83). Display technology did not influence the majority of learning outcomes, with the exception of 3D technologies, showing a significantly improvement in understanding of clinical relevance and structural relations (p=0.034). Students preferred 3D technologies for ease of use, perceived effectiveness and willingness to use again.
Conclusions The developed VR temporal bone anatomy tutor was an effective self-directed education tool. 3D technology remains valuable in facilitating spatial learning and superior user satisfaction.
- computer simulation
- medical education
- virtual reality
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Contributors BC: planning, conduct, reporting, analysis of data, drafting manuscript, guarantor. SW: planning, review of manuscript, contribution to discussion. LS: participant recruitment, conduct of study, review of manuscript. RJ: contribution to discussion. SO: guarantor, review of manuscript, contribution to discussion.
Funding The authors have not declared a specific grant for this research from any funding agency in the public, commercial or not-for-profit sectors.
Competing interests None declared.
Ethics approval Ethical approval was given by the Royal Victorian Eye and Ear Hospital Human Research Ethics Committee (17–1313H).
Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.
Data availability statement Data are available on reasonable request. Data are available on request.
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