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Optom Vis Sci ; 98(11): 1239-1247, 2021 11 01.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1402744

ABSTRACT

SIGNIFICANCE: Optometric educators are constantly looking for learning and teaching approaches to improve clinical skills training. In addition, the COVID-19 pandemic has made educators scrutinize the time allocated to face-to-face teaching and practice. Simulation learning is an option, but its use must first be evaluated against traditional learning methods. PURPOSE: The purpose of this study was to compare the training of binocular indirect ophthalmoscopy skills achieved by students and optometrists through deliberate practice on the Eyesi Indirect Ophthalmoscope simulator with deliberate practice using a peer. METHODS: Students and optometrists were randomly allocated to practice on either the simulator or a peer. Binocular indirect ophthalmoscopy performance was assessed using a peer and the simulator as the patients at different time points. Knowledge and confidence were examined before and following all practice sessions using a quiz and survey. RESULTS: Significant improvements in binocular indirect ophthalmoscopy performance using either a peer or the simulator as the patient for assessment were seen after 8 hours of student practice (P < .001) and after a half-hour practice time for optometrists (P < .001). There was no significant difference in performance overall between those practicing on a simulator and those practicing on a peer (P > .05). Confidence in ability to perform the technique was lower for students who had practiced on the simulator. CONCLUSIONS: The simulator has similar efficacy to peer practice for teaching binocular indirect ophthalmoscopy to students and maintenance of this clinical skill for optometrists. Simulation does not replace the need for peer practice but may be a useful adjunct reducing the face-to-face hours required. These findings present a need for further research regarding diverse applications of the Eyesi Indirect Ophthalmoscope simulator in the curriculum for training optometry students and as a continuing professional development offering for optometrists, given the short exposure duration required to observe a significant improvement in skill.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Pandemics , Clinical Competence , Humans , Ophthalmoscopes , Pilot Projects , SARS-CoV-2
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