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E-learning in ultrasonography: a web based approach
  1. Emilio Filippucci (emilio_filippucci{at}yahoo.it)
  1. Rheumatology Department, Università Politecnica delle Marche, Ancona, Italy
    1. Gary Meenagh (garymeenagh{at}yahoo.co.uk)
    1. Department of Rheumatology, Musgrave Park Hospital, Belfast, Northern Ireland
      1. Alessandro Ciapetti
      1. Rheumatology Department, Università Politecnica delle Marche, Ancona, Italy
        1. Annamaria Iagnocco (annamaria.iagnocco{at}uniroma1.it)
        1. Medical Therapy Department, Rheumatology Unit, La Sapienza University, Rome, Italy
          1. Allister Taggart (allister.taggart{at}ntlworld.com)
          1. Department of Rheumatology, Musgrave Park Hospital, Belfast, Northern Ireland
            1. Walter Grassi (walter.grassi{at}univpm.it)
            1. Rheumatology Department, Università Politecnica delle Marche, Ancona, Italy

              Abstract

              Objectives: The main aim of this report is to propose e-learning methods that address the fundamental problems related to sonographic training in rheumatology.

              Methods: The project was designed for rheumatologists with strong motivation to learn ultrasound. A modular approach was constructed consisting of a basic 3-day residential course followed by a 6-month period of web based tutoring and culminating in a final 2-day residential course with a formal assessment of competency.

              Results: The website (http://www.e- sonography.com) was accessed by all 60 participants. A mean of 20 log-on sessions were registered for each participant (range 10- 80) and a mean of 250 minutes of web access was recorded (range 60-600 minutes). A total of 163 sonographic images were submitted by 18 (30%). The majority of the images focused on the following anatomical areas: shoulder 49 (30%), hand 34 (21%) and knee 20 (12%). A total time investment of approximately 14 hours was made by the US tutors over the 6 month period for interaction with participants.

              Conclusions: The e-learning methods described in this report represent the first attempt to adopt a novel technique to circumvent several of the inherent barriers to the many facets of teaching musculoskeletal ultrasound to a wide audience.

              • E-learning
              • musculoskeletal ultrasound
              • training

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