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J Surg Res. 2012 Sep;177(1):21-6. doi: 10.1016/j.jss.2012.03.022. Epub 2012 Apr 1.

Use of mobile learning module improves skills in chest tube insertion.

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University of Miami Leonard M. Miller School of Medicine, Department of Surgery, Miami, Florida 33101, USA.



Just-In-Time Learning is a concept increasingly applied to medical education, and its efficacy must be evaluated.


A 3-minute video on chest tube insertion was produced. Consenting participants were assigned to either the video group, which viewed the video on an Apple® iPod Touch immediately before chest tube insertion, or the control group, which received no instruction. Every participant filled out a questionnaire regarding prior chest tube experience. A trained clinician observed participants insert a chest tube on the TraumaMan® task simulator, and assessed performance using a 14-item skills checklist.


Overall, 128 healthcare trainees participated, with 50% in the video group. Participants included residents (34.4%, n = 44), medical students (32.8%, n = 42), and U.S. Army Forward Surgical Team members (32.8%, n = 42). Sixty-nine percent of all participants responded that they had never placed a chest tube, but 7% had placed more than 20. Only 25% of the participants had previously used TraumaMan®. Subjects who viewed the video scored better on the skills checklist than the control group (11.09 ± 3.09 versus 7.17 ± 3.56, P < 0.001, Cohen's D = 1.16). Medical students (9.33 ± 2.65 versus 4.52 ± 3.64, P < 0.001), Forward Surgical Team members (10.07 ± 2.52 versus 8.57 ± 3.22, P < 0.001), anesthesia residents (8.25 ± 2.56 versus 5.9 ± 2.23, P = 0.017), and subjects who had placed fewer than 10 chest tubes (9.7 ± 3 versus 6.6 ± 3.9, P < 0.001) performed significantly better with the video.


The procedural animation video is an effective medium for teaching procedural skills. Embedding the video on a mobile device, and allowing trainees to access it immediately before chest tube insertion, may enhance and standardize surgical education for civilians and military personnel.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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