Canright A, Bescoby S, Dickson J . Evaluation of a 3D Computer Model of the Equine Paranasal Sinuses as a Tool for Veterinary Anatomy Education. J Vet Med Educ. 2023 Apr;50(2):234-242

PMID: 35324419


Detailed knowledge of anatomical systems is vital for clinical veterinary practice. However, students often find it difficult to transfer skills learned from textbooks to real-life practice. In this study, a three-dimensional computer model representing equine paranasal sinus anatomy (3D-ESM) was created and evaluated for its contribution to student understanding of the 3D dynamic nature of the system. Veterinary students and equine professionals at the University of Bristol were randomly allocated into experimental (3D model) and control (2D lecture) groups. A pre-/post-study design was used to evaluate the efficacy of the 3D model through a pre-/post-multiple-choice question (MCQ) anatomical knowledge exam and a pre-/post-questionnaire gathering information on participant demographics, confidence, and satisfaction. No statistically significant difference was found between 3D and 2D groups' post-MCQ exam scores (t39 = 1.289, p = .205). 3D group participant feedback was more positive than 2D group feedback, and 3D group satisfaction scores on Likert questions were significantly higher (t118 = -5.196, p < .001). Additionally, confidence scores were significantly higher in the 3D group than in the 2D group immediately following the study (p < .05). Participants' open-text responses indicated they found the 3D model helpful in learning the complex anatomy of the equine paranasal sinuses. Findings suggest the 3D-ESM is an effective educational tool that aids in confidence, enjoyment, and knowledge acquisition. Though it was not better than traditional methods in terms of anatomy knowledge exam scores, the model is a valuable inclusion into the veterinary anatomy curriculum.