“Everyone should do research”




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Introduction and aims:

The Biometrics Flexible Electrogoniometer (FEG) is a lightweight device which when attached over joints can measure angular displacement over time for periods of up to 10 hours.

The aim of this study was to ascertain the external validity of the FEG for measuring flexion and extension in the thoracic spine.

Method:


12 subjects (6 females 71±11years; 6 males 65±11) were X-rayed in upright and “slumped” standing with the FEG attached to their thoracic spine. The Cobb angle was measured from the X-ray between the vertebrae underlying the FEG at three points: the outer margins (OEB), the inner margins (IEB) and the mid points (MEB) of the FEG end blocks. The FEG data was compared with the Cobb angle data to derive intraclass correlation coefficients (ICC).

Results:


The FEG mean angles for upright and “slumped standing” were 31±7° and 39±8° respectively; the mean OEB Cobb angles were 48±13° and 52±12°; the mean IEB Cobb angles were 24±11° and 29±10°; and the MEB Cobb angles were 36±13° and 41±10°.

The ICC for FEG and OEB Cobb was 0.85, that for FEG and IEB Cobb was 0.77 and that for FEG and MEB Cobb was 0.87.

Conclusions:


The FEG is a valid tool for measuring thoracic spine angular displacement with an excellent ICC of 0.87 with the Cobb angle. This study has shown that the angle of the thoracic spine measured by the FEG most accurately corresponds to the angle between the vertebrae which underlie the midpoints of the FEG end blocks. Having validated the FEG in this way, further studies are planned which will use the FEG to evaluate interventions aimed at treating thoracic kyphosis.


Notes:

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P 22


DETECTION OF BREAST CANCER IN SURGICAL SPECIMENS BY TRAINEES: WHAT TRAINEE CHARACTERISTICS MATTER?


1Overton K, 2Shadbolt B, 3Fadia M, 1,3 Jain S & 1,3Dahlstrom JE.

1Australian National University Medical School, ACT, 2Departments of Epidemiology and 3Anatomical Pathology, Canberra Hospital, Garran, ACT, 2606.

u4365831@anu.edu.au


Aims

To determine whether certain character traits and/ or years of training predict the ability of pathology registrars to detect additional breast cancers macroscopically and match the microscopic assessment.


Methods

All breast cancer pathology reports over a 9 yr period were retrieved and reviewed. The numbers of radiographic and/or clinically detected cancers stated in the history were compared with the registrar’s macroscopic examination and the consultant’s microscopic assessment. The supervising pathologists rated the registrars on the basis of 7 traits felt important to being an Anatomical Pathologist. Correlation between these traits and years of training against the registrar’s performance was assessed.


Results

Across the 9 yr period the 12 registrars assessed 770 breast specimens for cancer. The registrars found 170 (26%) more carcinomas than originally indicated in the history. There was variation in performance between the registrars in their ability to find more carcinomas than clinically detected (p = 0.03), and their ability to detect these as carcinoma (p = 0.002). In comparison to clinically detected carcinomas, after adjusting for the type of cancer, registrars who found more additional carcinomas tended to be in their first year of training (p = 0.02) and had better visual pattern recognition (p=0.05). The registrars’ ability to work as part of a team as well as autonomously (p = 0.002) influenced agreement with the final report as to the number of cancers present (80%).


Conclusions

This study suggests that a registrar’s ability to detect additional cancers macroscopically may correlate with some specific personal traits rather just more years of training.


Notes:

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