Background: The peripheral venous catheter is the most frequently used medical device in hospital care to administer intravenous treatment or to take blood samples by introducing a catheter into a vein. The aim of this study was to examine the effect of motor imagery associated with actual training on the learning of peripheral venous catheter insertion into a simulated venous system.
Method: This was a prospective monocentre study in 3rd year medical students. Forty medical students were assigned to the experimental group (n = 20) performing both real practice and motor imagery of peripheral venous catheter insertion or to the control group (n = 20) trained through real practice only. We also recruited a reference group of 20 professional nurses defining the benchmark for a target performance.
Results: The experimental group learned the peripheral venous catheter insertion faster than the control group in the beginning of learning phase (p < 0.001), reaching the expected level after 4 sessions (p = .87) whereas the control group needed 5 sessions to reach the same level (p = .88). Both groups were at the same level at the end of the scheduled training.
Conclusions: Therefore, motor imagery improved professional motor skills learning, and limited the time needed to reach the expected level. Motor imagery may strengthen technical medical skill learning.
Collet C, Hajj ME, Chaker R, Bui-Xuan B, Lehot JJ, Hoyek N. Effect of motor imagery and actual practice on learning professional medical skills. BMC Med Educ. 2021 Jan 18;21(1):59. doi: 10.1186/s12909-020-02424-7. PMID: 33461539; PMCID: PMC7814611.