Langridge B, Momin S, Coumbe B, Woin E, Griffin M, Butler P. Systematic review of the use of 3-dimensional printing in surgical teaching and assessment. Journal of Surgical Education.2018;75(1):209-221


OBJECTIVE: The use of 3-dimensional (3D) printing in medicine has rapidly expanded in recent years as the technology has developed. The potential uses of 3D printing are manifold. This article provides a systematic review of the uses of 3D printing within surgical training and assessment.
METHODS: A structured literature search of the major literature databases was performed in adherence to PRISMA guidelines. Articles that met predefined inclusion and exclusion criteria were appraised with respect to the key objectives of the review and sources of bias were analysed.
RESULTS: Overall, 49 studies were identified for inclusion in the qualitative analysis. Heterogeneity in study design and outcome measures used prohibited meaningful meta-analysis. 3D printing has been used in surgical training across a broad range of specialities but most commonly in neurosurgery and otorhinolaryngology. Both objective and subjective outcome measures have been studied, demonstrating the usage of 3D printed models in training and education. 3D printing has also been used in anatomical education and preoperative planning, demonstrating improved outcomes when compared to traditional educational methods and improved patient outcomes, respectively.
CONCLUSIONS: 3D printing technology has a broad range of potential applications within surgical education and training. Although the field is still in its relative infancy, several studies have already demonstrated its usage both instead of and in addition to traditional educational methods.

Author's keywords: 3-dimensional printing; Medical Knowledge; Practice-Based Learning and Improvement; assessment; education; surgery; teaching; training

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