Purpose: In a previous study by our group, it was found that anatomical phantoms with moderate complexity can provide a valuable training experience to radiology residents; demonstrating a significant increase, 26Â±14%, p<0.003, in the detection rate pre- and post-training. In this study, a range of novel anatomical breast ultrasound training phantoms and a pedagogical plan were developed for use as an in-service training tool for sonographers. The anatomical phantoms had moderate technical complexity associated with them and simulated the sonographic characteristics of the different breast tissues and contained a range of lesion pathology such as cysts, Mondorâ€™s disease, fibroadenoma and angular, spiculated lesions representing malignant findings.
Methods: Design specifications for the anatomical breast phantom were developed through consultation between Radiologists, breast US sonographers as well as taking into consideration the typical profile of patients presenting to a large Radiology Department. A pedagogical plan was developed for use with these phantoms which included the following elements (i)didactic lecture, (ii) pre-training knowledge test, (iii) task-specific, self-directed practice training period using dedicated anatomical breast phantoms with associated training material for lesion-specific optimization training, (iv)peer review session and (v)post-training knowledge test.
Results: The pedagogical plan was implemented (Figure 1) and the impact of the self-directed training period was evaluated through three approaches in order to achieve triangulation (i)pre- and post-training session knowledge test, (ii)peer review session of images obtained using the dedicated phantoms and (iii)analytics data related to the image optimization controls 1 month pre-training session, 1 month post- and 3 months post-training session.
Conclusion: The anatomical breast phantoms provided a moderately complex â€œlife-like simulationâ€? of breast tissue for ultrasound imaging which was found to be able to effectively demonstrate the impact of different image optimization controls and to help individuals refine their scanning technique. Browne et al JACR 2018