Novices in Surgery Are the Target Group of a Virtual Reality Training Laboratory

Department of Visceral, Thoracic and Vascular Surgery, Philipps University of Marburg, Marburg, Germany.
European Surgical Research (Impact Factor: 2.47). 02/2006; 38(2):109-13. DOI: 10.1159/000093282
Source: PubMed


This study aims to establish which physicians represent the suitable target group of a virtual training laboratory.
Novices (48 physicians with fewer than 10 laparoscopic operations) and intermediate trainees (19 physicians who performed 30-50 laparoscopic operations) participated in this study. Each participant performed the basic module 'clip application' at the beginning and after a 1-hour short training course on the LapSim. The course consisted of the tasks coordination, lift and grasp, clip application, cutting with diathermy and fine dissection at increasing difficulty levels. The time taken to complete the tasks, number of errors, and economy of motion parameters (path length and angular path) were analyzed.
Following training with the simulator, novices completed the task significantly faster (p = 0.001), demonstrated a greater economy of motion [path length (p = 0.04) and angular path (p = 0.01)]. In contrast, the intermediate trainees showed a reduction of their errors, but without reaching statistical significance. They showed no improvement in economy of motion and completed the task significantly slower (p = 0.03).
Novices, in comparison to intermediate trainees, tend to benefit most during their first exposure to a laparoscopy simulator.

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