publication

Volumetric CT-images improve testing of radiological image interpretation skills

Ravesloot, C.J., van der Schaaf, Marieke F, van Schaik, JPJ, ten Cate, Olle Th J, van der Gijp, Anouk, Mol, Christian P, Vincken, Koen L

DOI: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ejrad.2014.12.015

European Journal of Radiology 84 (5), p. 856-861

Abstract

RATIONALE AND OBJECTIVES: Current radiology practice increasingly involves interpretation of volumetric data sets. In contrast, most radiology tests still contain only 2D images. We introduced a new testing tool that allows for stack viewing of volumetric images in our undergraduate radiology program. We hypothesized that tests with volumetric CT-images enhance test quality, in comparison with traditional completely 2D image-based tests, because they might better reflect required skills for clinical practice.

MATERIALS AND METHODS: Two groups of medical students (n=139; n=143), trained with 2D and volumetric CT-images, took a digital radiology test in two versions (A and B), each containing both 2D and volumetric CT-image questions. In a questionnaire, they were asked to comment on the representativeness for clinical practice, difficulty and user-friendliness of the test questions and testing program. Students' test scores and reliabilities, measured with Cronbach's alpha, of 2D and volumetric CT-image tests were compared.

RESULTS: Estimated reliabilities (Cronbach's alphas) were higher for volumetric CT-image scores (version A: .51 and version B: .54), than for 2D CT-image scores (version A: .24 and version B: .37). Participants found volumetric CT-image tests more representative of clinical practice, and considered them to be less difficult than volumetric CT-image questions. However, in one version (A), volumetric CT-image scores (M 80.9, SD 14.8) were significantly lower than 2D CT-image scores (M 88.4, SD 10.4) (p<.001). The volumetric CT-image testing program was considered user-friendly.

CONCLUSION: This study shows that volumetric image questions can be successfully integrated in students' radiology testing. Results suggests that the inclusion of volumetric CT-images might improve the quality of radiology tests by positively impacting perceived representativeness for clinical practice and increasing reliability of the test.