Novices in surgery are the target group of a virtual reality training laboratory.
ABSTRACT 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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ABSTRACT: BACKGROUND: Virtual reality simulators (VRS) can acquire specific performance parameters for laparoscopic surgery. The aim of this study was to evaluate the suitability of a VRS for the assessment in a surgical skills course. MATERIALS AND METHODS: One hundred five attendees of a 7-day surgical skills course were tested with a VRS at the beginning (T1) and at the end (T2) of the course. Two standard VRS tasks (lifting and grasping (LG) and fine dissection (FD)) with two scores and 21 individual parameters were used. VRS performance was correlated to laparoscopic experience and experience in playing video games in order to assess the influence of preexisting skills. RESULTS: The participants improved significantly in both scores and in 19/21 VRS parameters between T1 and T2. Laparoscopic experts were significantly better than novices only for the parameter tissue damage on T1 in LG (41.4 %, P < 0.001). Gamers were significantly better than non-gamers in all manual parameters on T1 in LG. Both groups of laparoscopic experience as well as non-gamers improved between T1 and T2 in LG for most parameters, while gamers only improved for tissue damage. CONCLUSIONS: The VRS was able to assess the gain in surgical performance during the course in general. However, laparoscopic experience and video game experience strongly influenced the results. Laparoscopic experience was correlated to the parameter tissue damage, whereas video game experience was correlated to manual parameters. This knowledge can be used to build adequate scoring systems for VRS and to design tasks that target specific course skills.International Journal of Colorectal Disease 09/2012; · 2.24 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: BACKGROUND: To improve patient safety, training of psychomotor laparoscopic skills is often done on virtual reality (VR) simulators outside the operating room. Haptic sensations have been found to influence psychomotor performance in laparoscopy. The emulation of haptic feedback is thus an important aspect of VR simulation. Some VR simulators try to simulate these sensations with handles equipped with haptic feedback. We conducted a survey on how laparoscopic surgeons perceive handles with and without haptic feedback. METHODS: Surgeons with different levels of experience in laparoscopy were asked to test two handles: Xitact IHP with haptic feedback and Xitact ITP without haptic feedback (Mentice AB, Gothenburg, Sweden), connected to the LapSim (Surgical Science AB, Sweden) VR simulator. They performed two tasks on the simulator before answering 12 questions regarding the two handles. The surgeons were not informed about the differences in the handles. RESULTS: A total of 85 % of the 20 surgeons who participated in the survey claimed that it is important that handles with haptic feedback feel realistic. Ninety percent of the surgeons preferred the handles without haptic feedback. The friction in the handles with haptic feedback was perceived to be as in reality (5 %) or too high (95 %). Regarding the handles without haptic feedback, the friction was perceived as in reality (45 %), too low (50 %), or too high (5 %). A total of 85 % of the surgeons thought that the handle with haptic feedback attempts to simulate the resistance offered by tissue to deformation. Ten percent thought that the handle succeeds in doing so. CONCLUSIONS: The surveyed surgeons believe that haptic feedback is an important feature on VR simulators; however, they preferred the handles without haptic feedback because they perceived the handles with haptic feedback to add additional friction, making them unrealistic and not mechanically transparent.Surgical Endoscopy 01/2013; · 3.43 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: BACKGROUND: Surgeons performing laparoscopy need a high degree of psychomotor skills, which can be trained and assessed on virtual reality (VR) simulators. VR simulators simulate the surgical environment and assess psychomotor skills according to predefined parameters. This study aimed to validate a proficiency-based training setup that consisted of two tasks with predefined threshold values and handles with haptic feedback on the LapSim(®) VR simulator. The two tasks have been found to have construct validity in previous studies using handles without haptic feedback. METHODS: The participants were divided into three groups: novices (0-50 laparoscopic procedures), intermediates (51-300 laparoscopic procedures), and experts (more than 300 procedures). It was assumed that psychomotor skills increase with experience. All participants conducted the tasks lifting and grasping and fine dissection 20 times each. Validity of the training setup was investigated by comparing the number of times each participant passed a predefined threshold level for a set of 19 parameters. RESULTS: Construct validity was established for one parameter; "misses on right side" on the lifting and grasping task, whereas the other 18 parameters did not show construct validity. CONCLUSION: The setup employed in this study failed to establish construct validity for more than one parameter. This indicates that the simulation of haptic feedback influences the training performance on laparoscopic simulators and is an important part of validating a training setup. A haptic device should generate haptic sensations in a realistic manner, without introducing frictional forces that are not inherent to laparoscopy.Surgical Endoscopy 12/2012; · 3.43 Impact Factor