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A comparison of expert and novice performance in the detection of simulated pulmonary nodules.

Research output: Contribution to Journal/MagazineJournal articlepeer-review

<mark>Journal publication date</mark>05/2000
Issue number2
Number of pages6
Pages (from-to)111-116
Publication StatusPublished
<mark>Original language</mark>English


Sixteen student radiographers in the third year of a degree programme and four experienced radiologists took part in a test of their ability to detect pulmonary nodules in images of a chest phantom. No special training in radiography reporting skills was given to the students so the tests demonstrated the untutored ability of novice radiographers compared with radiologists. Overall performance of the students in lung nodule detection gave a mean ROC Azvalue of 0.851 normalized to the radiology reports and a mean ROC Az=0.742 ( =0.052) against ground truth. Radiologists achieved a mean ROC Az=0.871 ( =0.0118) against ground truth by comparison. We comment on some aspects of the students' performance and offer suggestions on training strategies which may help in the acquisition of some of the visual skills required to perform such tasks. We suspect that the visual search requirement of complex images is one factor which may result in poor performances in observers untrained in radiographic reporting and we recommend further studies into this area by tracking the eye movements of novices and experts during film viewing.