Learning curve-cumulative summation analysis of visual estimation of left ventricular function in novice practitioners: A STROBE-compliant article

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The aim of the present study was to determine the value of cumulative summation (CUSUM) analysis in assessing the proficiency of novice practitioners in estimating the left ventricular ejection fraction (EF).Seven novice practitioners with no echocardiography experience were recruited in this observational study. Each practitioner assessed EF from echocardiographic video files of 100 cases, one by one, and received feedback and teaching. We obtained a CUSUM score through comparison of the gold standard values of EF and the EF values determined by the practitioners. Then, the practitioners underwent the same test 4 weeks later, except without feedback and teaching, using echocardiographic video files from 100 other cases.The mean number of visual estimation cases required to pass the learning curve (LC)-CUSUM test was 56.3 ± 9.1 (95% CI 47.8–64.7). The LC-CUSUM average of the 7 novice practitioners showed improvement in visual estimation skill, with an average acceptable level achieved after a mean experience of 55 cases. In the test performed after 4 weeks, 5 of the 7 novice practitioners showed significantly good overall agreement. All novice practitioners had a kappa coefficient greater than .8, and significant and almost perfect agreement was observed. All the participants exhibited a percentage of correct answers greater than 81%.We found that the novice practitioners could acquire an acceptable level of skill for estimating EF with short-term, self-learning-focused echocardiographic training.

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