Thoracic ultrasound competence for ultrasound guided pleural procedures: The creation and validation of an assessment tool for use in the certification of basic thoracic ultrasound competence

David J. McCracken, Eihab O. Bedawi, Michael Stevenson, Kathy M. Cullen, Andrew E. Stanton, Najib M. Rahman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Objectives
Focused thoracic ultrasound (TUS) provides an increased safety profile when undertaking invasive pleural procedures. This has led to the requirement for defined curricula, high quality teaching and robust, validated assessment tools among physicians to ensure patient safety and clinical excellence.

Current UK practice is based almost exclusively on expert consensus, but assessment methods employed have been shown to have low reliability and validity and are potentially open to bias. As a result, several assessment tools have been developed, although each has its own limitations.

Methods
This study aimed to develop and validate an assessment tool corresponding to those skills associated with the most basic level of practice, defined recently as an emergency level operator in the British Thoracic Society Training Standards for Thoracic Ultrasound.

Results
A total of 27 candidates were enrolled by two examiners based in Belfast and Oxford over a 10-month period between February and November 2019. Mean score of the inexperienced group was 44.3 (95% CI 39.2–49.4, range 28–54) compared with 74.9 (95% CI 72.8–77, range 64–80) in the experienced group providing an estimated mean difference of 30.7 between the two groups (95% CI 24.7–36.7; p < .001).

Conclusions
This tool appears to discriminate between trainees with limited experience of TUS performance and those with no experience. It has the potential to form part of the assessment strategy for trainees in the United Kingdom and beyond, alongside well established assessment tools in postgraduate training.
Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of Clinical Ultrasound
Early online date15 Jan 2022
DOIs
Publication statusEarly online date - 15 Jan 2022

Keywords

  • Radiology, Nuclear Medicine and imaging

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