Impact of a web-based module on trainees' ability to interpret neonatal cranial ultrasound

Nadya Ben Fadel (Lead / Corresponding author), Sean McAleer

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Citations (Scopus)
74 Downloads (Pure)


Background: Accurate interpretations of neonatal cranial ultrasound (CUS) studies are essential skills for physicians in neonatal intensive care units (NICUs) in order to properly diagnose and manage brain injury. However, these skills are not formally taught to pediatric and neonatal-perinatal medicine (NPM) trainees in Canada. Therefore, our study describes the design, implementation, and evaluation of a new web-based learning (WBL) module that focuses on teaching these skills.

Methods: Trainees' needs assessment survey, sent to all NPM and pediatrics trainees (n = 62), concluded that most of them feel uncomfortable with their ability to interpret CUS, highlighting the need for a new educational intervention. The needs assessment informed the development of the WBL module, which we evaluated using questionnaires and pre-and post-testing methods to measure participants' satisfaction, knowledge gain, skills development, and behaviour changes. Only trainees rotating through the NICU over 6 months (n = 23) were invited to participate in all the evaluation steps. We used the ADDIE instructional design model as a framework for this project.

Results: Respondents were very satisfied with the module, and their baseline knowledge increased significantly after studying and engaging with the module. The post-test score was 76% (p < 0.001) compared to the pre-test mean score of 42%. Tests for CUS interpretation skills assessment showed that 49% of pre-test answers were incorrect compared to 8% in the post-test (p < 0.001). Seventy-eight percent of trainees (n = 18) responded to a survey conducted a year after implementation, and 78% of the respondents (n = 14) reported that they still used these skills and shared this knowledge with junior trainees.

Conclusion: A WBL module for teaching neonatal CUS interpretation considerably improved trainees' knowledge and enhanced their skills in interpreting neonatal CUS.

Original languageEnglish
Article number489
Number of pages13
JournalBMC Medical Education
Publication statusPublished - 3 Dec 2020


  • Neonatal cranial ultrasound
  • Web-based module
  • Needs assessment
  • Evaluation
  • Satisfaction
  • Neonatal intensive care unit

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Education


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