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Use of 3D models of congenital heart disease as an education tool for cardiac nurses

Giovanni Biglino1,2, Claudio Capelli2,3, Despina Koniordou3, Di Robertshaw2, Lindsay-Kay Leaver2, Silvia Schievano2,3, Andrew M. Taylor2,3, Jo Wray2

1 Bristol Heart Institute, School of Clinical Sciences, University of Bristol, Bristol, UK
2 Cardiorespiratory Division, Great Ormond Street Hospital for Children, NHS Foundation Trust, London, UK
3 Centre for Cardiovascular Imaging, Institute of Cardiovascular Science, University College London, London, UK

* Corresponding Author: Giovanni Biglino, Bristol Heart Institute, University of Bristol, Bristol, UK. Email: email

Congenital Heart Disease 2017, 12(1), 113-118.


Background: Nurse education and training are key to providing congenital heart disease (CHD) patients with consistent high standards of care as well as enabling career progression. One approach for improving educational experience is the use of 3D patient-specific models.
Objectives: To gather pilot data to assess the feasibility of using 3D models of CHD during a training course for cardiac nurses; to evaluate the potential of 3D models in this context, from the nurses’ perspective; and to identify possible improvements to optimise their use for teaching.
Design: A cross-sectional survey.
Setting: A national training week for cardiac nurses.
Participants: One hundred cardiac nurses (of which 65 pediatric and 35 adult).
Methods: Nurses were shown nine CHD models within the context of a specialized course, following a lecture on the process of making the models themselves, starting from medical imaging. Participants were asked about their general learning experience, if models were more/less informative than diagrams/drawings and lesion-specific/generic models, and their overall reaction to the models. Possible differences between adult and pediatric nurses were investigated. Written feedback was subjected to content analysis and quantitative data were analyzed using nonparametric statistics.
Results: Generally models were well liked and nurses considered them more informative than diagrams. Nurses found that 3D models helped in the appreciation of overall anatomy (86%), spatial orientation (70%), and anatomical complexity after treatment (66%). There was no statistically significant difference between adult and pediatric nurses’ responses. Thematic analysis highlighted the need for further explanation, use of labels and use of colors to highlight the lesion of interest amongst improvements for optimizing 3D models for teaching/training purposes.
Conclusion: 3D patient-specific models are useful tools for training adult and pediatric cardiac nurses and are particularly helpful for understanding CHD anatomy after repair.


Cite This Article

APA Style
Biglino, G., Capelli, C., Koniordou, D., Robertshaw, D., Leaver, L. et al. (2017). Use of 3D models of congenital heart disease as an education tool for cardiac nurses. Congenital Heart Disease, 12(1), 113-118.
Vancouver Style
Biglino G, Capelli C, Koniordou D, Robertshaw D, Leaver L, Schievano S, et al. Use of 3D models of congenital heart disease as an education tool for cardiac nurses. Congeni Heart Dis. 2017;12(1):113-118
IEEE Style
G. Biglino et al., "Use of 3D models of congenital heart disease as an education tool for cardiac nurses," Congeni. Heart Dis., vol. 12, no. 1, pp. 113-118. 2017.

cc This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License , which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
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