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  • Poster presentation
  • Open Access

Structured evaluation of the effectiveness of an interactive tool for developing interpretation skills in mammography

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Breast Cancer Research201214 (Suppl 1) :P28

  • Published:


  • Cancer Research
  • Learning Curve
  • Baseline Assessment
  • Detailed Comparison
  • Valuable Addition


Lesion Zoo, a computer-based training tool, was developed to give trainee radiologists access to a wide range of possible mammographic appearances. Users describe lesions using terms from the BI-RADS lexicon and are given feedback on how their descriptions compare with those of by a panel of experts.


A zoo is a collection of lesions presented to a trainee, who is invited to ascribe features to the lesions and provide a confidence estimate. Trainees receive feedback on their progress, through a detailed comparison of their assessment with that of a panel of experts, and from a learning curve showing how their confidence changes. During this evaluation, two sets of test cases (masses and calcifications) were offered initially as a baseline assessment, followed by training on masses or calcifications, followed by a second assessment after which training was swapped (the group that had initially trained on masses was trained on calcifications and vice versa), and then a third assessment was carried out, allowing a test of the impact of the training on performance.


Analysis of variance shows significant two-way interaction: participants receiving training on calcifications improve more on calcifications than on masses and participants receiving training on masses improve more on masses.


Computer-based training tools provide a valuable addition to conventional training and allow trainees to get rapid access to experience with large numbers of cases. Well-designed tools that provide meaningful feedback on interpretation tasks are likely to be effective in improving performance.

Authors’ Affiliations

St Georges Hospital NHS Trust, London, UK
The Royal Surrey County Hospital NHS Foundation Trust, Guildford, UK
University of York, UK
University of Edinburgh, UK
University of Middlesex, UK
University College London, UK


© Pietrosanu et al.; licensee BioMed Central Ltd. 2012

This article is published under license to BioMed Central Ltd. This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.