The effectiveness of virtual reality-based technology on anatomy teaching: a meta-analysis of randomized controlled studies

Jingjie Zhao, Xinliang Xu, Hualin Jiang, Yi Ding
2020 BMC Medical Education  
Virtual reality (VR) is an innovation that permits the individual to discover and operate within three-dimensional (3D) environment to gain practical understanding. This research aimed to examine the general efficiency of VR for teaching medical anatomy. We executed a meta-analysis of randomized controlled studies of the performance of VR anatomy education. We browsed five databases from the year 1990 to 2019. Ultimately, 15 randomized controlled trials with a teaching outcome measure analysis
more » ... e measure analysis were included. Two authors separately chose studies, extracted information, and examined the risk of bias. The primary outcomes were examination scores of the students. Secondary outcomes were the degrees of satisfaction of the students. Random-effects models were used for the pooled evaluations of scores and satisfaction degrees. Standardized mean difference (SMD) was applied to assess the systematic results. The heterogeneity was determined by I2 statistics, and then was investigated by meta-regression and subgroup analyses. In this review, we screened and included fifteen randomized controlled researches (816 students). The pooled analysis of primary outcomes showed that VR improves test scores moderately compared with other approaches (standardized mean difference [SMD] = 0.53; 95% Confidence Interval [CI] 0.09-0.97, p < 0.05; I2 = 87.8%). The high homogeneity indicated that the studies were different from each other. Therefore, we carried out meta-regression as well as subgroup analyses using seven variables (year, country, learners, course, intervention, comparator, and duration). We found that VR improves post-intervention test score of anatomy compared with other types of teaching methods. The finding confirms that VR may act as an efficient way to improve the learners' level of anatomy knowledge. Future research should assess other factors like degree of satisfaction, cost-effectiveness, and adverse reactions when evaluating the teaching effectiveness of VR in anatomy.
doi:10.1186/s12909-020-1994-z pmid:32334594 fatcat:hcyws3hchvde7oizwo3ilgplvu