R.CHANDRASEKARAN1, S.RADZI1, Z.K. PEH1, J.S. TAN2, P.RAJALINGAM1, W.Y.YEONG1, S.R.MOGALI1
Nanyang Technological University1, Tan Tock Seng Hospital2
Contemporary anatomy tools such as plastinates and three-dimensional printing (3DP) are paving their way to improve anatomy education. However, there is limited evidence suggesting their effectiveness in students’ objective performance. This study aimed to evaluate these outcomes using Miller’s framework and compare the performance of 3DP with plastinated specimens.
Cardiac and neck plastinated specimens and their 1:1 3DP replica (printed using material jetting technology) were used to conduct a randomised cross-over study involving 96 first year medical students at two different intervals. Of 96, 63 were in the first session (cardiac plastinated, n=32; 3DP, n=31). The same 32 and one new student signed up for the second session (neck plastinated, n=18; 3DP, n = 15). Both sessions involved pre-tests, team-based learning activities and post-tests.
Similar performances were found within plastinated and 3DP groups with a significant improvement in students’ baseline knowledge by 29.7% and 31.3% for cardiac; 31.7% and 31.3% for neck anatomy. The post test scores for cardiac (plastinated, 3DP Mean ±SD: 57.0 ±13.3 and 60.8 ±13.6, P = 0.27) and neck (70.3 ±15.6 and 68.3 ±9.9, P = 0.68) anatomy showed no significant differences. Likewise, comparison of the Miller’s cognitive domains for both anatomies also revealed no differences.
Thus, the 3DP tools did not disadvantage the students of learning of cardiac and neck anatomy. Their educational benefits were similar to the plastinated specimens, and this might give more confidence to educators who are willing to integrate these contemporary tools in their formal anatomy curriculum.