The Effects of Simulation-based Transvaginal Ultrasound Training on Quality and Efficiency of Care: A Multicenter Single-blind Randomized Trial

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To explore the effect of adding simulation-based transvaginal ultrasound training to trainees’ clinical training compared with only clinical training on quality of and efficiency of care.


Simulation-based ultrasound training may be an effective adjunct to clinical training, but no studies have examined its effects on quality and efficiency of care.


Trainees from 4 University Hospitals in East Denmark were included (N = 54). Participants were randomized to either simulation-based ultrasound training and clinical training (intervention group, n = 28), or to clinical training only (control group, n = 26).


The primary outcome was patient-reported discomfort during transvaginal ultrasound examinations performed by study participants. Secondary outcomes included patient-reported perceived safety and confidence in ultrasound provider. Finally, the need for trainee supervision or repeated patient examinations was recorded.


In total, 1150 patient ratings were collected. The intervention was associated with a reduction of patient discomfort by 18.5% [95% confidence interval (CI), 10.7–25.5; P < 0.001), and with a 7.9% (95% CI, 0.5–14.7; P = 0.04) increase in perceived safety. The intervention group participants received 11.1% (95% CI, 2.5–18.9) higher scores on patients’ confidence compared with control group participants (P = 0.01). When the number of days of clinical training was doubled, the odds for trainee supervision or repeated patient examination was reduced by 45.3% (95% CI, 33.5–55.1) and 19.8% (95% CI, 4.1–32.9) in the intervention and control group, respectively (P = 0.005).


Simulation-based ultrasound training improved quality of care and reduced the need for repeated patient examination and trainee supervision.

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