Saturday, April 30, 2016

Educational Value of Digital Whole Slides Accompanying Published Online Pathology Journal Articles: A Multi-Institutional Study

Feng Yin MD, PhD; Gang Han PhD; Marilyn M. Bui MD, PhD; Julie Gibbs MD; Ian Martin DO; Lohini Sundharkrishnan MD;Lauren King MD; Christine Jabcuga MD; Lauren N. Stuart MD, MBA; Lewis A. Hassell MD
Reprints: Lewis A. Hassell, MD, Department of Pathology, University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center, Presbyterian Tower, Lower Level, Pathology Suite, 700 NE 17th St, Oklahoma City, OK 73104 (email: ).
Context.—Despitep pgreat interest in using whole slide imaging (WSI) in pathology practice and education, few pathology journals have published WSI pertinent to articles within their pages or as supplemental materials.
Objective.—To evaluate whether there is measurable added educational value of including WSI in publications.
Design.—Thirty-seven participants, 16 (43.3%), 15 (40.5%), and 6 (16.2%) junior pathology residents (postgraduate year 1–2), senior pathology residents (postgraduate year 3–4), and board-certified pathologists, respectively, read a sequence of 10 journal articles on a wide range of pathology topics. A randomized subgroup also reviewed the WSI published with the articles. Both groups completed a survey tool assessing recall of text-based content and of image-based material pertinent to the diseases but not present in the fixed published images.
Results.—The group examining WSI had higher performance scores in 72% of image-based questions (36 of 50 questions) as compared with the non-WSI group. As an internal study control, the WSI group had higher performance scores in only 40% of text-based questions (6 of 15 questions). The WSI group had significantly better performance than the non-WSI group for image-based questions compared with text-based questions (P < .05, Fisher exact test).
Conclusion.—Our study provides supporting evidence that WSI offers enhanced value to the learner beyond the text and fixed images selected by the author. We strongly encourage more journals to incorporate WSI into their publications.

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