Clinical Epidemiology and Ageing

Effectiveness of Simulation-Based Training on Transesophageal Echocardiography Learning: The SIMULATOR Randomized Clinical Trial.

Pezel T, Dreyfus J, Mouhat B, Thébaut C, Audureau E, Bernard A, Badie YLavie, Bohbot Y, Fard D, Nguyen LS, Monteil C, Bière L, Le Ven F, Canu M, Ribeyrolles S, Mion B, Bazire B, Fauvel C, Cautela J, Cambet T, Le Tourneau T, Donal E, Lafitte S, Magne J, Mansencal N, Coisne A JAMA Cardiol. 2023;8(3):248-256.

IMPORTANCE: Evidence is scarce on the effectiveness of simulation-based training in transesophageal echocardiography (TEE).

OBJECTIVE: To assess the effectiveness of simulation-based teaching vs traditional teaching of TEE knowledge and skills of cardiology fellows.

DESIGN, SETTING, AND PARTICIPANTS: Between November 2020 and November 2021, all consecutive cardiology fellows inexperienced in TEE from 42 French university centers were randomized (1:1; n = 324) into 2 groups with or without simulation support.

MAIN OUTCOMES AND MEASURES: The co-primary outcomes were the scores in the final theoretical and practical tests 3 months after the training. TEE duration and the fellows' self-assessment of their proficiency were also assessed.

RESULTS: While the theoretical and practical test scores were similar between the 2 groups (324 participants; 62.6% male; mean age, 26.4 years) before the training (33.0 [SD, 16.3] points vs 32.5 [SD, 18.5] points; P = .80 and 44.2 [SD, 25.5] points vs 46.1 [SD, 26.1] points; P = .51, respectively), the fellows in the simulation group (n = 162; 50%) displayed higher theoretical test and practical test scores after the training than those in the traditional group (n = 162; 50%) (47.2% [SD, 15.6%] vs 38.3% [SD, 19.8%]; P < .001 and 74.5% [SD, 17.7%] vs 59.0% [SD, 25.1%]; P < .001, respectively). Subgroup analyses showed that the effectiveness of the simulation training was even greater when performed at the beginning of the fellowship (ie, 2 years or less of training) (theoretical test: an increase of 11.9 points; 95% CI, 7.2-16.7 vs an increase of 4.25 points; 95% CI, -1.05 to 9.5; P = .03; practical test: an increase of 24.9 points; 95% CI, 18.5-31.0 vs an increase of 10.1 points; 95% CI, 3.9-16.0; P < .001). After the training, the duration to perform a complete TEE was significantly lower in the simulation group than in the traditional group ( 8.3 [SD, 1.4] minutes vs 9.4 [SD, 1.2] minutes; P < .001, respectively). Additionally, fellows in the simulation group felt more ready and more confident about performing a TEE alone after the training (mean score, 3.0; 95% CI, 2.9-3.2 vs mean score, 1.7; 95% CI, 1.4-1.9; P < .001 and mean score, 3.3; 95% CI, 3.1-3.5 vs mean score, 2.4; 95% CI, 2.1-2.6; P < .001, respectively).

CONCLUSIONS AND RELEVANCE: Simulation-based teaching of TEE showed a significant improvement in the knowledge, skills, and self-assessment of proficiency of cardiology fellows, as well as a reduction in the amount of time needed to complete the examination. These results should encourage further investigation of clinical performance and patient benefits of TEE simulation training.

MeSH terms: Adult; Clinical Competence; Computer Simulation; Echocardiography, Transesophageal; Female; Humans; Internship and Residency; Male; Simulation Training
DOI: 10.1001/jamacardio.2022.5016