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Visual pattern recognition is important in many different medical fields, particularly in dermatology. Perceptual learning modules (PLM) are software programs developed to enhance visual pattern recognition through the sequential presentation of images that trainee must quickly diagnose. The aim of this literature review was to determine the scope and effectiveness of PLM in medical education.
We carried out a search of MEDLINE, EMBASE, Web of Science and ERIC from its inception through to July 1, 2017. All articles describing an educational intervention based on perceptual learning in a medical field were included. Two investigators worked independently on study selection and data extraction.
Of 191 references selected, 5 studies were included in the final analysis: 3 before-after studies and 2 randomized studies comparing 12 to 236 trainees taking PLM with 12 to 316 trainees not taking PLM. Four studies reported a statistically significant increase in diagnostic accuracy (lower error rate) and fluency (shorter response time) following PLM interventions (dermatology, pathology, echocardiography), with long-term persistence of the effect in three studies.
PLM is a promising educational tool to teach pattern recognition that may be used in dermatology and other medical fields to improve diagnostic accuracy and rapidity in daily practice.Le texte complet de cet article est disponible en PDF.
Keywords : Perceptual learning modules, Medical education, Non-analytical reasoning