Do absorption and realistic distraction influence performance of component task surgical procedure?

Department of Information Systems and Management, Tilburg University, Warandelaan 2, 5037 AB Tilburg, The Netherlands.
Surgical Endoscopy (Impact Factor: 3.31). 09/2009; 24(4):902-7. DOI: 10.1007/s00464-009-0689-7
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT Surgeons perform complex tasks while exposed to multiple distracting sources that may increase stress in the operating room (e.g., music, conversation, and unadapted use of sophisticated technologies). This study aimed to examine whether such realistic social and technological distracting conditions may influence surgical performance.
Twelve medical interns performed a laparoscopic cholecystectomy task with the Xitact LC 3.0 virtual reality simulator under distracting conditions (exposure to music, conversation, and nonoptimal handling of the laparoscope) versus nondistracting conditions (control condition) as part of a 2 x 2 within-subject experimental design.
Under distracting conditions, the medical interns showed a significant decline in task performance (overall task score, task errors, and operating time) and significantly increased levels of irritation toward both the assistant handling the laparoscope in a nonoptimal way and the sources of social distraction. Furthermore, individual differences in cognitive style (i.e., cognitive absorption and need for cognition) significantly influenced the levels of irritation experienced by the medical interns.
The results suggest careful evaluation of the social and technological sources of distraction in the operation room to reduce irritation for the surgeon and provision of proper preclinical laparoscope navigation training to increase security for the patient.

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