Article Text

Use of smartphones to aid the teaching of equine ocular fundus examination
  1. Emma Shipman1,2,
  2. John H Burford1,
  3. Mark Bowen1,2 and
  4. Marco Duz1
  1. 1 School of Veterinary Medicine and Science, The University of Nottingham, Sutton Bonington, UK
  2. 2 Oakham Veterinary Hospital, Oakham, UK
  1. Correspondence to Dr Marco Duz, School Of Veterinary Medicine and Science, The University of Nottingham, Sutton Bonington LE12 5RD, UK; Marco.Duz{at}


Background Teaching and learning how to perform examination of the ocular fundus is challenging. Smartphones can support to enhance students’ confidence and experience.

Methods Following an optional year-4 ophthalmoscopy practical using hand-held ophthalmoscopes, students completed a questionnaire using a visual analogue scale (VAS) investigating if students felt smartphone use aided learning and if student’s self-assessed confidence in visualising the ocular fundus had improved. VAS scores were compared using the Wilcoxon signed rank test (significance: P<0.05).

Results All 30 year-4 students attending the practical participated to the study. Confidence in performing direct ophthalmoscopy significantly increased after the practical. Confidence after the practical was 65.3 (±19.8) per cent compared with before the practical when confidence was 20.1 (±15.6) per cent (P<0.001). The perceived usefulness of traditional teaching was 62.3 (±23.8) per cent. The perceived usefulness of the teaching with the smartphone was 91.1 (±8.6) per cent. While students found both methods useful, they perceived the use of the smartphone to be significantly more useful (P<0.001). Free-text comments on the use of the smartphone were all positive and included ‘useful’, ‘fun’ and ‘good teaching tool’.

Conclusions This study shows that students positively received the use of the smartphone, which can be a useful tool to teach the equine ocular examination to undergraduate veterinary students.

  • smartphone
  • ophthalmic examination
  • horse
  • direct ophthalmoscopy
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  • Twitter @MarcoDuz

  • Presented at The results of the study have been presented at AVTRW Congress 2018.

  • Contributors ES was involved in study design and manuscript preparation. JHB was involved in study design and data analysis. MB had the initial idea for the study and was involved in study design, data collection and interpretation. MD was involved in data collection, interpretation, analysis and manuscript preparation. All authors reviewed and approved the submitted version of the manuscript.

  • Funding The study was funded by the School of Veterinary Medicine and Science, University of Nottingham, UK.

  • Competing interests None declared.

  • Ethics approval The study was approved by the Ethical Review Panel at the School of Veterinary Medicine and Science at the University of Nottingham.

  • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.

  • Data availability statement All data relevant to the study are included in the article or uploaded as supplementary information.

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