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Can Anthropomorphic Breast Ultrasound Phantoms Improve the Learning Experience of Radiology Residents Enrolled in a Resident Education Program?

J Browne1*, C Gu2 , D Tradup3 , R Fazzio3 , A Fagan3 , N Hangiandreou3 , (1) Dublin Institute of Technology, Dublin 8, Ireland, (2) University of Pittsburgh Medical Center, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, (3) Mayo Clinic, Rochester, MN


(Monday, 7/30/2018) 3:45 PM - 4:15 PM

Room: Exhibit Hall | Forum 8

Purpose: A novel anthropomorphic breast ultrasound training phantom and assessment tool was developed for use in radiology resident education programs. This study aimed to evaluate the training role of these phantoms which simulate both the anthropomorphic and sonographic characteristics of the different breast tissues, in a group of radiology residents at a large medical center. The design of the training phantom and associated training material was such that pre- and post-training assessments could be carried out for each resident.Materials and

Methods: Two similar devices (phantom 'P1' and phantom 'P2') were designed to produce realistic sonographic images of breast morphology and each contained similar pathologies embedded in different locations. A pre-training assessment of nine radiology residents’ (2nd–4th year) ability to detect and characterize all lesions in P1 was completed, followed by a two hour training session on the same phantom, which included a map detailing each lesion location and characteristics. All residents underwent a post-training assessment on P2; rates of lesion detection and correct lesion characterization were determined. Residents were surveyed about their views of the phantoms following the post-training assessment.

Results: This study demonstrated a significant increase in the radiology residents’ detection and correct characterization scores between pre- and post-training, with a pooled increase of 26±14%, p<0.003 and of 17±8%, p<0.0003, respectively. The survey revealed that residents rated the training experience highly in terms of increasing confidence in operating the ultrasound system controls (mean score of > 4/5) and that the training device created a comfortable learning environment (mean of > 4.8/5).

Conclusion: The anthropomorphic breast phantoms were found to be successful for training and assessment. Furthermore, they provided a “life-like simulation� of breast tissue for ultrasound imaging in a non-pressurized environment which allowed residents to practice and refine ultrasound imaging skills without direct exposure to patients.

Funding Support, Disclosures, and Conflict of Interest: The authors acknowledge funding from Enterprise Ireland (CF-2013-3308).


Ultrasonics, Phantoms, Breast


IM- Ultrasound : Phantoms - physical

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