Purpose: The inguinal canal anatomy is of paramount clinical significance due to the common occurrence of direct and indirect inguinal hernias. However, the inguinal canal is often an area of great difficulty for medical students to understand. The aim of this study was to evaluate the use of a low-cost, low-fidelity inguinal canal model as a teaching and learning aid.

Methods: A low-fidelity inguinal canal model was introduced as a learning aid in an anatomy tutorial on the inguinal region. Students were randomised into intervention (n=66) and control (n=40) groups. Following the tutorial, all students completed a multiple-choice question quiz on the inguinal canal. The intervention group also completed a questionnaire evaluating the positive and negative aspects of the model.

Results: Students taught with the inguinal canal model achieved higher scores (mean: 88.31% vs 81.7%, p=0.087). Positive aspects of the model as described by the students included its simplicity and ability to improve their three-dimensional understanding of the inguinal canal. Students requested more hands-on time with the model during the tutorial.

Conclusion: The present study supports current literature in that low-fidelity anatomy models are a useful adjunct to aid students’ learning of complex anatomical concepts. Students may benefit from creating their own inguinal canal model to retain as a personal study tool.


inguinal canal, anatomy model, low-fidelity model, anatomy teaching

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