Digital stethoscope as an innovative tool on the teaching of auscultatory skills.

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Digital stethoscope as an innovative tool on the teaching of auscultatory skills.

Arq Bras Cardiol. 2013 Feb;100(2):187-9

Authors: Mesquita CT, Reis JC, Simões LS, Moura EC, Rodrigues GA, Athayde CC, Machado HL, Lanzieri PG

Physical cardiovascular examination, particularly cardiac auscultation, is one of the most difficult clinical skills for students during their medical training. Studies suggest that the use of technologies such as digital stethoscope increase the accuracy of clinical examination, however, its impact on the teaching of cardiac auscultation for undergraduate students of medicine is not known. The objective is to demonstrate the usefulness of the digital stethoscope compared to traditional methods as a tool in the teaching of auscultatory skills. nterventional, longitudinal, controlled, unicenter and randomized study. Thirty-eight medicine students were enrolled for a cardiovascular semiology course lasting eight weeks. The course program included lectures and bedside practice in Cardiology wards. In the practical lessons, the students were randomized into two groups: 1) (n = 21) digital stethoscope (Littmann® Model 3200, 3M); and 2) (n = 17) conventional stethoscopes. A pre-training evaluation was conducted through a test using the software Heart Sounds®, which was repeated after the course. The average scores were compared by paired T test and unpaired T test. It is observed that, at the end of the course, there was a significantly greater improvement in the group that used the digital stethoscope (51.9%) compared to the group using the conventional stethoscope (29.5%). Short-term interventions for cardiac semiology teaching are able to contribute significantly to improving proficiency in the identification of heart sounds. The use of digital stethoscope proved to be a positive factor in teaching these skills.

PMID: 23503829 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]

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