Breast imaging e-learning courses help radiographers

Breast imaging e-learning courses help radiographers
share Share
E-learning is widely considered a useful tool for specific training and continuing education of health professionals. Therefore, like traditional learning, this teaching approach needs continuous evaluation in order to validate its effectiveness and impact. New research from Portugal found that an e-learning Course on Breast Imaging for radiographers was helpful in improving their knowledge and skills in mammography. The study highlights the role of continuous education models in order to improve delivery of mammography services.

Continuing medical education has been highly recommended by international organisations in order to improve the performance and routine work of health professionals, including radiographers or radiologic technologists. With regard to breast imaging, the radiographer has a key role in performing mammographic examinations. Also, mammography is currently considered the best imaging technique for breast cancer screening and the most effective tool for early detection of this disease. Thus, education and training programmes are needed to help radiographers improve their professional competencies.

Compared to traditional learning methods, e-learning or web-based approach offers some unique advantages, for example, the ability to learn at any time from any location, without having to travel or spend time away from work. This individualised learning approach also allows learners to skip information that they already know and move on to less familiar topics. Several studies have demonstrated that radiographers are very receptive to this learning method.

Recognising that it is important to demonstrate the outcomes of substantial investments in health worker training, as well as considering the lack of material resources in mammography for radiographers in Portugal, the researchers designed an E-learning Course on Breast Imaging and assessed its effectiveness based on the first three levels of Kirkpatrick’s framework: reaction, learning and behaviour. The Kirkpatrick’s model is one of the best evaluation methods and widely used by health information management instructors. 

For the current study, the researchers developed an e-learning course to provide an easy-to-understand, succinct and current overview in breast imaging, namely mammography technique and image interpretation. The programme structure was built based on the guidelines proposed by the European Society of Breast Cancer Specialists (EUSOMA). Learners’ satisfaction was assessed through a questionnaire and knowledge gain was assessed using pre- and post-testing. Six months after completing the course, the learners were contacted through a questionnaire in order to give feedback on whether their behaviour changed in the workplace.

In all, 64 learners completed two editions of the breast imaging course. The majority of participants (97%) stated that the programme content was "very good" or "excellent", and all learners said the content was delivered in a very good or excellent way. In addition, 94% of learners reported that they were satisfied with the distribution of the content in each module, and 86% stated that their level of dedication to learning was high or very high.

Regarding improvement of knowledge, the researchers found an increase of 4 percentage points between pre and post-tests (p = 0.001). The learners identified two main changes in their practice: the first one was related with patient care, improving communications and positioning skills; and the second one regarding image interpretation, improving the image processing and analyses.

According to the research team, an important result of this study is that radiographers are more capable to answer questions that the patient could have, highlighting the knowledge improvement achieved after completing the online course. They explain: "Besides technical issues, the radiographer is usually the first professional to be consulted by women in primary healthcare needs, at the time of breast cancer screening, and therefore he should be able to answer questions about the examination and the implications of its results, if the patient asks. For this reason, learning outcomes of this course will benefit patients through radiographers' improved knowledge, namely on patient safety, dose, time of imaging, less repeated images, less anxiety and better image quality assurance."

The researchers also say further effort is needed to improve overall content or even to provide learners with a free e-book to be downloaded after performing the course, which can be easily used at the clinical setting.

Limitations of this study need to be considered, including the small sample size that affects the generalisation of the results, and the limited implementation time, as the learners have their own agenda and priorities.

Image credit: iStock

«« Radiologists need to brush up on AI

More women in radiology research: need for diversity and inclusion »»


Published on : Wed, 30 Jan 2019

Related Articles

The use of artificial intelligence (AI) continues to grow in healthcare , such as in enhancing the performance and accuracy... Read more

Needless to say, radiology plays a critical role in healthcare delivery. It is rare for a patient to pass through a hospital... Read more

The importance of artificial intelligence ( AI ) is ever increasing in healthcare, especially in enhancing the accuracy of diagnostic... Read more

Imaging, Mammography, Radiology, breast imaging, radiographers, education, Breast imaging course, machine-learning systems, e-Learning, Portugal, EUSOMA E-learning is widely considered a useful tool for specific training and continuing education of health professionals. Therefore, like traditional learning, this teaching approach needs continuous evaluation in order to validate its effectiveness and impac

One comment

michell kell

michell kell

(2020-09-29 14:13)
I just got my ex husband back through the help of Dr Nkosi love spells Experts. My husband left me for another woman, This was just 3 years of our marriage. The most painful thing is that I was pregnant with our second baby. I wanted him back. I did everything within my reach to bring him back but all was in vain, I wanted him back so badly because of the love I had for him, I begged him with everything, I made promises but he refused. I explained my problem to my friend and she suggested that I should rather contact a spell caster that could help me cast a spell to bring him back , I had no choice than to try it. I messaged the spell caster called dr nkosi, and he assured me there was no problem and that everything will be okay before 11 hours. He cast the spell and surprisingly 11 hours later my husband called me. I was so surprised, I answered the call and all he said was that he was so sorry for everything that had happened He wanted me to return to him. He also said he loved me so much. I was so happy and went to him that was how we started living together happily again.thanks to dr nkosi. if you are here and your Lover is turning you down, or your husband moved to another woman, do not cry anymore, contact Dr.Nkosi for help now..Here his contact, WhatsApp him: +27820502562 {or} Email him at: [email protected] ,his website:

Please login to leave a comment...

Highlighted Products