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01.12.2019 | Research article | Ausgabe 1/2019 Open Access

BMC Family Practice 1/2019

An educational study to investigate the efficacy of three training methods for infiltration techniques on self-efficacy and skills of trainees in general practice

BMC Family Practice > Ausgabe 1/2019
Nele R. Michels, Els Vanhomwegen
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The online version of this article (https://​doi.​org/​10.​1186/​s12875-019-1023-7) contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.

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Research shows that few general practitioners perform intra- and periarticular infiltrations. Lack of good training strategies to teach these skills would be an important reason for this observation. In this study, we investigated and compared three different training strategies for infiltrations of the glenohumeral joint, subacromial space, lateral epicondyle, carpal tunnel and knee joint.


Trainees in general practice were randomized into three teaching groups: a theoretical lecture (n = 18), or a theoretical lecture with training on anatomical models (n = 19) or with a training on cadavers (n = 11). The study period was 3 months. Before and after the training, the self-efficacy (questionnaire) and skills (Objective Structured Clinical Examination or OSCE, test on anatomical models) were evaluated. The self-efficacy was assessed again 3 months later. A Kruskal-Wallis test was used to compare the results before versus after training and between groups (p < 0.05).


All three training strategies had a significantly positive effect on the self-efficacy concerning knowledge and skills. This benefit remained 3 months after training. However, some participants still felt uncomfortable to perform infiltrations. Best scores for self-efficacy concerning skills and best scores on the OSCE were observed after training on cadavers, followed by training on anatomical models.


Based on this study we suggest the combination of a theoretical lecture with a training on cadavers to teach infiltration techniques. To achieve an optimal long-term effect, additional refresher trainings may be necessary.
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