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Knipfer, Christian; Rohde, Maximilian; Oetter, Nicolai; Münch, Tim; Kesting, Marco Rainer; Stelzle, Florian (2018): Local anaesthesia training for undergraduate students - how big is the step from model to man? In: BMC Medical Education 18:308
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Background: Local anesthesia is an important skill and a prerequisite for most dental treatments. However, the step from theory to application on the patient is huge for the novice. Hence, a mannequin training model course was developed and implemented into the existing local anesthesia curriculum in undergraduate dental students. It was the aim of this study to evaluate the relation between training-model and real-life anesthesia performance and to measure whether a gain in skill on the model translates to the actual patient situation.Methods: Thirty-six third-year students (14 males, 22 females, age 24years2.98) attended the four-day course comprising each 4 h of lectures and practical training. The student cohort gave subjective ratings about the didactical components of the course after attendance by using the TRIL questionnaire (TRIL-mod;University of Trier). At the end of the course the performance of each student in administering an inferior alveolar nerve (IAN) block on the training model as well as on a fellow dental student was investigated using a standardized checklist. To evaluate the successful performance, the in vivo IAN-block was assessed using subjective patient-feeling, the sharp-blunt test and an objective pain- and thermal sensitivity tester (PATH).Results: The course was rated with an average score of 5.25 +/- 0.44 (range 1-6;6=best). On the training model, 69.4% of the students successfully performed an IAN-block. The in vivo assessment, objectified by the PATH test, showed a successful anesthesia in 36.9% of the cases. The assessment of local anesthesia by using the sharp blunt test and the subjective patient feeling significantly correlated with these findings (k=0.453-0.751, p<0.05). The model performance did not correlate with the performance on the patient (k=0.137, p=0.198).Conclusions Although subjective ratings of the course were high, the anesthesia success rate on mannequin models did not imply an equal performance on the in vivo setting. As local anesthesia training models are a valuable didactic complement, the focus of the training should be on to the actual real life situation. Chair side feedback should be offered to the students using one of the presented evaluation methods.