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Ernst, Benjamin P.; Katzer, Fabian; Kuenzel, Julian; Hodeib, Mohamed; Strieth, Sebastian; Eckrich, Jonas; Tattermusch, Anna; Frölich, Matthias F.; Matthias, Christoph; Sommer, Wieland H.; Becker, Sven (2019): Impact of structured reporting on developing head and neck ultrasound skills. In: BMC Medical Education, Vol. 19, 102
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Background: Reports of head and neck ultrasound examinations are frequently written by hand as free texts. This is a serious obstacle to the learning process of the modality due to a missing report structure and terminology. Therefore, there is a great inter-observer variability in overall report quality. Aim of the present study was to evaluate the impact of structured reporting on the learning process as indicated by the overall report quality of head and neck ultrasound examinations within medical school education. Methods: Following an immersion course on head and neck ultrasound, previously documented images of three common pathologies were handed out to 58 medical students who asked to create both standard free text reports (FTR) and structured reports (SR). A template for structured reporting of head and neck ultrasound examinations was created using a web-based approach. FTRs and SRs were evaluated with regard to overall quality, completeness, required time to completion and readability by two independent raters (Paired Wilcoxon test, 95% CI). Ratings were assessed for inter-rater reliability (Fleiss' kappa). Additionally, a questionnaire was utilized to evaluate user satisfaction. Results: SRs received significantly better ratings in terms of report completeness (97.7% vs. 53.5%, p < 0.001) regarding all items. In addition, pathologies were described in more detail using SRs (70% vs. 51.1%, p < 0.001). Readability was significantly higher in all SRs when compared to FTRs (100% vs. 54.4%, p < 0.001). Mean time to complete was significantly lower (79.6 vs. 205.4s, p < 0.001) and user satisfaction was significantly higher when using SRs (8.5 vs. 4.1, p < 0.001). Also, inter-rater reliability was very high (Fleiss' kappa 0.93). Conclusions: SRs of head and neck ultrasound examinations provide more detailed information with a better readability in a time-saving manner within medical education. Also, medical students may benefit from SRs in their learning process due to the structured approach and standardized terminology.