Clinicians' recognition of 10 different types of distal radial fractures

J Oskam, J Kingma*, HJ Klasen

*Corresponding author for this work

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

    12 Citations (Scopus)


    This study concerned baseline performance in recognition of 10 different types of distal radial fractures. Verbal tasks of admitting knowing about fractures and Visual tasks were designed for each fracture type. The Verbal task of admitting knowing consisted of a description with the relevant distinctive features of the fracture. The surgical resident was asked whether he admitted knowing the particular fracture described. The Visual task consisted of X-rays for which the subject had to label the fracture or identify its distinctive features. The test was presented to 30 surgical trainees working in five teaching hospitals. On the Verbal task of admitting knowing, scores were statistically significantly higher (68% "yes") than on the Visual task (33% correct). Responses met our criterion of 80% correct for the following fracture types: Colles's, distal forearm, and Smith's fracture. For seven other fracture types (combination radius and scaphoid, radial styloid process, dorsal Barton's, volar Barton's, pilon, chauffeur's, and lunate load fracture), the 80% criterion was not met. Analysis of the incorrect answers on the Visual task indicated that the surgical residents tended to label unknown fracture types as Colles's or Smith's fractures. Furthermore, the residents tended to overestimate their own diagnostic competence (overconfidence bias) for several fracture types. It was concluded that to improve diagnosis, the relevant distinctive features of distal radial fractures should be taught.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)917-924
    Number of pages8
    JournalPerceptual and Motor Skills
    Issue number3
    Publication statusPublished - Dec-2000

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