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Study of Two Teaching Techniques to Teach Cardiac Auscultation to Physicians

This study has been completed.
Information provided by (Responsible Party):
Anthony A. Donato, The Reading Hospital and Medical Center Identifier:
First received: May 8, 2012
Last updated: May 10, 2012
Last verified: May 2012
Our objective was to test two educational interventions for teaching cardiac auscultation: self-directed learning using portable audio files versus a single, massed multimedia lecture intervention similar to current best practice, to determine which would most effectively increase recognition of common cardiac sounds by physicians. The investigators hypothesized that doctors learning on their own time could better improve their skills.

Condition Intervention
Heart Murmur Other: Self-Study using MP3 Player Other: Multimedia Lecture

Study Type: Interventional
Study Design: Allocation: Randomized
Intervention Model: Parallel Assignment
Masking: Open Label
Official Title: Self-Directed Study Using MP3 Players Versus Multimedia Lecture to Improve Auscultation Proficiency of Physicians: A Randomized, Controlled Trial.

Further study details as provided by Anthony A. Donato, The Reading Hospital and Medical Center:

Primary Outcome Measures:
  • Improvement in auscultation score at 4 and 12 weeks [ Time Frame: 12 weeks ]
    Primary outcome was an improvement in test score from pre-test to 4 and 12-week post-test. All participants took a 15-question pretest in addition to a posttest at 4 and 12 weeks using identical heart sound files to those used in training. Each test Tests consisted of 8-second clips of each heart sound file, with 10 beats of each sound.

Secondary Outcome Measures:
  • Learner Satisfaction [ Time Frame: 12 weeks ]
    Both groups were asked to rate satisfaction with the teaching modality at the pretest and posttesting via 6-point Likert scale.

  • Learner confidence [ Time Frame: 12 weeks ]
    Both groups were asked to rate confidence in their auscultatory skill at the pretest and posttesting at 12 weeks on a 6-point Likert scale.

Enrollment: 83
Study Start Date: January 2011
Study Completion Date: June 2011
Primary Completion Date: June 2011 (Final data collection date for primary outcome measure)
Arms Assigned Interventions
Active Comparator: Control
Control arm
Other: Multimedia Lecture
Following the pretest, participants in the control arm received a 1-hour multimedia lecture (Power Point) taught by the same faculty member (AGK), which reviewed the pathophysiology, exacerbating and relieving factors, as well as visual diagrams of the heart sounds. The normal and seven pathologic heart sounds were played for participants during the lecture for a total of 2 minutes through high-quality home stereo speakers, exposing learners to 1280 beats in the 1-hour session. Abnormal sounds were taught in groups of systolic, diastolic and extra sounds, and were first introduced by name, and then as unknowns using mixed practice in each of the three sections.
Other Name: Lecture
Active Comparator: Intervention
Intervention arm
Other: Self-Study using MP3 Player
Participants in the interventional arm of the study were given an MP3 player which contained eight, 15-second heart sound files (7 pathologic heart sound files and 1 normal heart sound file) alternated with nine leisure songs. MP3 players could play files in order or "shuffle" files in random order. Each heart sound file was introduced by the narrated phrase "Identify this sound,", followed by 10 beats of a heart sound recording, then the narrated identification of the heart sound. Participants were asked to use the MP3 player in order to improve their auscultation skills as often as they could and asked to record their activities while listening, but were given no further training.
Other Name: Self-Study

  Show Detailed Description


Ages Eligible for Study:   Child, Adult, Senior
Sexes Eligible for Study:   All
Accepts Healthy Volunteers:   Yes

Inclusion Criteria:

  • All non-cardiologist physicians from one institution were eligible for the study. Participants were 83 non-cardiologist physician volunteers (57 practicing physicians, 26 residents in training) from one Academic Independent Medical Center in the Northeastern United States enrolled between January 11, 2011 and February 25, 2011.

Exclusion Criteria:

  • Cardiologists,
  • Non-physicians.
  Contacts and Locations
Choosing to participate in a study is an important personal decision. Talk with your doctor and family members or friends about deciding to join a study. To learn more about this study, you or your doctor may contact the study research staff using the Contacts provided below. For general information, see Learn About Clinical Studies.

Please refer to this study by its identifier: NCT01596465

United States, Pennsylvania
The Reading Hospital and Medical Center
West Reading, Pennsylvania, United States, 19612
Sponsors and Collaborators
The Reading Hospital and Medical Center
Study Director: Anthony A Donato, MD The Reading Hospital and Medical Center
Principal Investigator: Antony G Kaliyadan, MD The Reading Hospital and Medical Center
  More Information

Responsible Party: Anthony A. Donato, Associate Program Director, Internal Medicine, Reading Hospital and Medical Center; Clinical Associate Professor, Internal Medicine, Jefferson Medical College, The Reading Hospital and Medical Center Identifier: NCT01596465     History of Changes
Other Study ID Numbers: TRHMC-049-010
Study First Received: May 8, 2012
Last Updated: May 10, 2012

Additional relevant MeSH terms:
Heart Murmurs
Signs and Symptoms processed this record on August 16, 2017