Use of ultrasonography has revolutionized diagnosis of musculoskeletal disorders. Until now, few studies have investigated usefulness of a short-period workshop for musculoskeletal ultrasound (MSKUS) education. In this research, we attempted to explore (1) whether the physicians felt it useful to attend this type of courses for improving knowledge of sonoanatomy and scanning skills, (2) if the attendees’ perceived confidence in musculoskeletal diagnoses by using ultrasound increased following the program and (3) whether differences existed in perceived usefulness and confidence regrading different sessions of the course.
The target participants of the courses were postgraduate physicians without limitation of their specialties. The attendees’ responses to questionnaires before and after the course were reviewed. The workshop contained didactic and practical sessions on 6 major joints in accordance with the scanning protocols of EURO-MUSCULUS/USPRM. The course usefulness and perceived confidence in MSKUS examination were evaluated using a 5-point Likert scale. Data relevant to participants’ pre-workshop confidence levels were also analyzed. If any participant attended the course for more than 1 time, only their first survey was used for analysis.
The study included 156 participants. The average rating for the course usefulness ranged between 4 (useful) to 5 (very useful). There was no difference in perceived usefulness between the didactic and hands-on practical sessions. Participants’ perceived confidence significantly increased after the workshop but appeared to be lowest for evaluation on the hip joint. Previous experience in performing MSKUS (in years) was consistently associated with the level of pre-workshop confidence.
A short period ultrasound workshop might be useful regarding making musculoskeletal diagnoses by using ultrasound based on an increase in post-workshop confidence in MSKUS examinations. The perceived confidence of hip scanning was lower than that of other joints after the course, indicating inadequacy of education in hip sonoanatomy and intensity of hand-on practice in the present program. An increase in the faculty-to-student ratio or length of practice in the hip section should be implemented in the future course.