Evaluation of a Web-Based Module and an Otoscopy Simulator in Teaching Ear Disease.

To determine which teaching method-otoscopy simulation (OS), web-based module (WM), or standard classroom instruction (SI)-produced the best improvement in the diagnosis of middle/external ear pathologies and the development of otoscopy clinical skills | Otolaryngology–Head and Neck Surgery


Fifty-four medical students (first year, 26; second year, 28) were randomized to receive 1 of the 3 interventions: OS, WM, or SI. All students underwent baseline testing of diagnostic accuracy (25 ear pathologies) and otoscopy skills. Immediately following each intervention and 3 months later, testing was repeated.

Baseline scores for diagnostic accuracy and otoscopy skills did not differ across intervention groups. Immediately postintervention, all groups showed an improvement in diagnostic accuracy (P < .001). OS scored significantly higher than SI (P < .001), as did WM (P = .003). At 3-month follow-up, all groups continued to demonstrate improved diagnostic accuracy as compared with baseline. Again, OS showed improvement over SI (P = .031). For otoscopy clinical skills, only OS improved immediately postintervention (P < .001). OS had significantly higher scores than WM and SI (P < .001). At 3-month follow-up, OS again showed improvement over WM (P < .001) and SI (P = .009).

All groups showed an improvement in diagnostic accuracy immediately postintervention, with the largest increases coming from OS and WM. Otoscopy clinical skills increased and were retained only in OS. Preclerkship medical student acquisition and retention of otolaryngology diagnostic skills can be greatly improved through web-based teaching modules and otoscopy simulation.

Full reference: Wu, V. & Beyea, J.A. (2017) Evaluation of a Web-Based Module and an Otoscopy Simulator in Teaching Ear Disease. Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery. Vol. 156 (Issue 2) pp. 272 – 277


Educating teenagers about hearing health by training them to educate children

Welch, D. et al. International Journal of Audiology. Published online 19th May 2016.

Image source: four moons – deviantart.com

Objective: We investigated the change in hearing-health behaviour amongst teenagers trained to deliver the Dangerous Decibels programme to younger children.

Design: The Dangerous Decibels programme uses a two-stage process to train 8–12 year-old children to protect their hearing from noise: (1) a team of experts train ‘Educators’ who (2) give classroom training to children in schools. Training teenagers as Educators may add a second level of benefit if teenagers internalize the hearing-health messages that they present and thus protect their own hearing better. They were assessed before training, immediately after, and three months later (after all had presented the classroom training) using a questionnaire. In addition, a focus group was conducted with a subgroup of the Educators to assess their subjective experience.

Study sample: We trained 44 Educators aged 14–17 years.

Results: Results were generally positive: there were significant and sustained improvements in knowledge, self-reported behaviour, and perceived supports towards protecting hearing, and trends but not significant changes in attitudes or perceived barriers to hearing protection.

Conclusions: Providing training to teenagers had benefits beyond the delivery of training to younger children, but improvements in the delivery model may increase the uptake and impact on the teenagers.

Read the abstract here