Efficacy of Body Painting in the Teaching and Learning of Anatomy: a Randomized Study
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Abstract: Introduction: There are different methodologies in teaching and learning anatomy to medical undergraduate students, such as the use of simulators, imaging, Body Painting, among others. Body Painting is a form of body art where human skin is painted, with muscles, veins, bones, nerves and internal organs being projected on the body surface. Seeking adaptations to the growing lack of cadaverous parts and meeting the new curricular demands of medical schools, this research aimed to evaluate the acquisition of anatomical knowledge of the rib cage (ribs, cartilage, intercostal muscles, sternum and thoracic lines), larynx, trachea, nose and paranasal sinuses, with the use of Body Painting compared to the use of cadaverous parts, in addition to understanding and analyzing the perception and meaning of the Body Painting method in teaching and learning anatomy to medical undergraduate students. Method: For this purpose, a qualitative and quantitative research was performed. Regarding the quantitative part, this was a randomized controlled trial before and after the interventions. Students at the end of the first year of medical school were randomly allocated to two groups, 22 in the Body Painting group and 24 in the Corpse group. In both groups a pretest and a posttest were performed. The sample normality test was applied, and the non-parametric Wilcoxon rank sum test was used to compare the rank scores obtained by each group in the pretest and posttest. In addition, a qualitative approach was performed with the application of the Likert scale and the use of a focus group to analyze student perceptions about this method. Results: In the results, there was no statistical difference when comparing the median scores of the pre-test grades in the Body Painting group with the Corpse Group. This showed that the groups were homogeneous in relation to the level of prior knowledge. The sum of the posttest scores in the Body Painting group was higher than that in the Corpse group, with a statistical difference when comparing the median of the rank scores between these groups. Conclusions: In this study, it was found that the acquisition of anatomical knowledge of the rib cage (ribs, cartilage, intercostal muscles, sternum and thoracic lines), larynx, trachea, nose and paranasal sinuses with the use of Body Painting was slightly superior to the use of cadaverous parts. Partial nudity may initially be seen as a hindrance to the method, but this can be overcome after students experience and engage in body painting sessions. Body Painting, according to student perception, facilitates the teaching-learning process by bringing theory closer to the practice and allowing associations, thus providing meaningful learning.