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International Journal of Medical Education




METHODS: A pilot randomized controlled trial was conducted at our institution's simulation center with 32 first year medical students from a single medical institution. Participants were randomly divided into two equal groups and completed an educational module on the identification and pathophysiology of five common cardiac sounds. The control group utilized traditional education methods, while the interventional group incorporated multisensory stimuli. Afterwards, participants listened to randomly selected cardiac sounds and competency data was collected through a multiple-choice post-assessment in both groups. Mann-Whitney U test was used to analyze the data.

Results: Data were analyzed using the Mann-Whitney U test. Diagnostic accuracy was significantly higher in the multisensory group (Mdn=100%) compared to the control group (Mdn=60%) on the post-assessment (U=73.5, p<0.042). Likewise, knowledge acquisition was substantially better in the multisensory group (Mdn=80%) than in the control group (Mdn=50%) (U= 49, p<0.031).

CONCLUSIONS: These findings suggest the incorporation of multisensory stimuli significantly improves cardiac auscultation competency. Given its cost-effectiveness and simplicity, this approach offers a viable alternative to more expensive simulation technologies like the Harvey simulator, particularly in settings with limited resources. Consequently, this teaching modality holds promise for global applicability, addressing the worldwide deterioration in cardiac auscultation skills and potentially leading to better patient outcomes. Future studies should broaden the sample size, span multiple institutions, and investigate long-term retention rates.

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Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.

Published Citation

Patrizio HA, Phyu R, Kim B, Brolis NV. Improved cardiac auscultation competency interweaving visual, auditory, and tactile stimuli: a preliminary study. International Journal of Medical Education. 2024 Apr 5:15:37-43. doi: 10.5116/ijme.6607.27a6. PMID: 38581237.