Journal of General Internal Medicine

, Volume 33, Issue 2, pp 148–154 | Cite as

Optimizing Residents’ Performance of Lumbar Puncture: An RCT Comparing the Effect of Preparatory Interventions on Performance and Self-Confidence

  • Mikael Johannes Vuokko Henriksen
  • Troels Wienecke
  • Helle Thagesen
  • Rikke Borre Vita Jacobsen
  • Yousif Subhi
  • Ryan Brydges
  • Charlotte Ringsted
  • Lars Konge
Original Research



Lumbar puncture is often associated with uncertainty and limited experience on the part of residents; therefore, preparatory interventions can be essential. There is growing interest in the potential benefit of videos over written text. However, little attention has been given to whether the design of the videos impacts on subsequent performance.


To investigate the effect of different preparatory interventions on learner performance and self-confidence regarding lumbar puncture (LP).


Randomized controlled trial in which participants were randomly assigned to one of three interventions as preparation for performing lumbar puncture: 1) goal- and learner-centered video (GLV) presenting procedure-specific process goals and learner-centered information; 2) traditional video (TV) providing expert-driven content, but no process goals; and 3) written text (WT) with illustrations.

Participants and Main Measures

Participants were PGY-1 doctors without LP experience. After the preparatory intervention, participants performed an LP in a simulated setting with a standardized patient and an assistant. Two content experts, blinded to participant group allocation, assessed video recordings of the performance using the Lumbar Puncture Assessment Tool (LumPAT) and an overall global rating. Participants rated their self-confidence immediately prior to performing the procedure. The primary outcome was the difference in LumPAT scores among groups.

Key Results

A total of 110 PGY-1 doctors were included. Results demonstrated significant differences in LumPAT mean scores among the three groups: GLV, 42.8; TV, 40.6; WT, 38.1 (p = 0.01). The global rating scores were highest in the GLV group (p = 0.026). Self-confidence scores differed significantly among the three groups (p = 0.003), with the TV group scoring the highest. There were no significant correlations between self-confidence scores and performance scores in any of the groups.


A video designed with procedure-specific process goals and learner-centered information resulted in better subsequent LP performance than a traditionally designed video or written text. Participants’ self-confidence was not predictive of their actual performance.


medical education medical education–clinical skills training medical education–instructional design 



Funding for this study was provided by TrygFonden (grant no. 105112), a non-medical non-governmental organization. The funding source had no role in the design or conduct of the study; collection, management, analysis or interpretation of the data; preparation, review or approval of the manuscript; or the decision to submit the manuscript for publication.

The study was presented at the Association for Medical Education in Europe (AMEE) 2016 conference, Barcelona, August 2016.

Compliance with Ethical Standards

Conflict of Interest

The authors declare that they do not have a conflict of interest.

Supplementary material

11606_2017_4207_MOESM1_ESM.pdf (263 kb)
ESM 1 (PDF 263 kb)


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Copyright information

© Society of General Internal Medicine 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  • Mikael Johannes Vuokko Henriksen
    • 1
    • 2
  • Troels Wienecke
    • 2
    • 3
  • Helle Thagesen
    • 3
  • Rikke Borre Vita Jacobsen
    • 2
    • 4
  • Yousif Subhi
    • 2
    • 5
  • Ryan Brydges
    • 6
    • 7
    • 8
  • Charlotte Ringsted
    • 9
  • Lars Konge
    • 1
    • 2
  1. 1.Copenhagen Academy for Medical Education and SimulationCopenhagenDenmark
  2. 2.Faculty of Health and Medical SciencesUniversity of CopenhagenCopenhagenDenmark
  3. 3.Department of NeurologyZealand University HospitalRoskildeDenmark
  4. 4.Center for Head and Orthopedic/UFU 4231 Anesthesiology, RigshospitaletCopenhagenDenmark
  5. 5.Department of OphthalmologyZealand University HospitalRoskildeDenmark
  6. 6.The Wilson CenterUniversity Health NetworkTorontoCanada
  7. 7.Allan Waters Family Simulation Centre & Professorship in Technology-Enabled EducationSt. Michael’s HospitalTorontoCanada
  8. 8.Deptarment of MedicineUniversity of TorontoTorontoCanada
  9. 9.Centre for Health Science Education, Faculty of HealthAarhus UniversityAarhusDenmark

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