A tale of two trainers: virtual reality versus a video trainer for acquisition of basic laparoscopic skills

Department of Surgery, Oestfold Hospital Trust, Oestfold Hospital Trust, N-1603 Fredrikstad, Norway.
American journal of surgery (Impact Factor: 2.29). 06/2010; 199(6):840-5. DOI: 10.1016/j.amjsurg.2009.05.016
Source: PubMed


This study aimed to assess the transferability of basic laparoscopic skills between a virtual reality simulator (MIST-VR) and a video trainer box (D-Box).
Forty-six medical students were randomized into 2 groups, training on MIST-VR or D-Box. After training with one modality, a crossover assessment on the other was performed.
When tested on MIST-VR, the MIST-VR group showed significantly shorter time (90.3 seconds vs 188.6 seconds, P <.001), better economy of movements (4.40 vs 7.50, P <.001), and lower score (224.7 vs 527.0, P <.001). However, when assessed on the D-Box, there was no difference between the groups for time (402.0 seconds vs 325.6 seconds, P = .152), total hand movements (THC) (289 vs 262, P = .792), or total path length (TPL) (34.9 m vs 34.6 m, P = .388).
Both simulators provide significant improvement in performance. Our results indicate that skills learned on the MIST-VR are transferable to the D-Box, but the opposite cannot be demonstrated.

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Available from: Anders Johan Debes, Nov 19, 2014
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    • "Positive learning effects of both box and VR trainers have been shown for practical laparoscopic skills without clear superiority of one over the other. Other studies have proven positive effects on the duration of operations and on the clinical outcome of both training modalities [5-7,14,15]. When box trainers are augmented with cadaveric organs, surgical interventions can be realistically simulated, e.g., laparoscopic cholecystectomy (LC) [16-18]. "
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