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      Visual-spatial ability is more important than motivation for novices in surgical simulator training: a preliminary study


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          To investigate whether surgical simulation performance and previous video gaming experience would correlate with higher motivation to further train a specific simulator task and whether visual-spatial ability would rank higher in importance to surgical performance than the above. It was also examined whether or not motivation would correlate with a preference to choose a surgical specialty in the future and if simulator training would increase the interest in choosing that same work field.


          Motivation and general interest in surgery was measured pre- and post-training in 30 medical students at Karolinska Institutet who were tested in a laparoscopic surgical simulator in parallel with measurement of visual-spatial ability and self-estimated video gaming experience.  Correlations between simulator performance metrics, visual-spatial ability and motivation were statistically analyzed using regression analysis.


          A good result in the first simulator trial correlated with higher self-determination index (r =-0.46, p=0.05) in male students. Visual-spatial ability was the most important underlying factor followed by intrinsic motivation score and finally video gaming experience (p=0.02, p=0.05, p=0.11) regarding simulator performance in male students. Simulator training increased interest in surgery when studying all subjects (p=0.01), male subjects (p=0.02) as well as subjects with low video gaming experience (p=0.02).


          This preliminary study highlights individual differences regarding the effect of simulator training on motivation that can be taken into account when designing simulator training curricula, although the sample size is quite small and findings should be interpreted carefully. 

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          Virtual reality training improves operating room performance: results of a randomized, double-blinded study.

          To demonstrate that virtual reality (VR) training transfers technical skills to the operating room (OR) environment. The use of VR surgical simulation to train skills and reduce error risk in the OR has never been demonstrated in a prospective, randomized, blinded study. Sixteen surgical residents (PGY 1-4) had baseline psychomotor abilities assessed, then were randomized to either VR training (MIST VR simulator diathermy task) until expert criterion levels established by experienced laparoscopists were achieved (n = 8), or control non-VR-trained (n = 8). All subjects performed laparoscopic cholecystectomy with an attending surgeon blinded to training status. Videotapes of gallbladder dissection were reviewed independently by two investigators blinded to subject identity and training, and scored for eight predefined errors for each procedure minute (interrater reliability of error assessment r > 0.80). No differences in baseline assessments were found between groups. Gallbladder dissection was 29% faster for VR-trained residents. Non-VR-trained residents were nine times more likely to transiently fail to make progress (P <.007, Mann-Whitney test) and five times more likely to injure the gallbladder or burn nontarget tissue (chi-square = 4.27, P <.04). Mean errors were six times less likely to occur in the VR-trained group (1.19 vs. 7.38 errors per case; P <.008, Mann-Whitney test). The use of VR surgical simulation to reach specific target criteria significantly improved the OR performance of residents during laparoscopic cholecystectomy. This validation of transfer of training skills from VR to OR sets the stage for more sophisticated uses of VR in assessment, training, error reduction, and certification of surgeons.
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            Systematic video game training in surgical novices improves performance in virtual reality endoscopic surgical simulators: a prospective randomized study.

            Previous studies have shown a correlation between previous video game experience and performance in minimally invasive surgical simulators. The hypothesis is that systematic video game training with high visual-spatial demands and visual similarity to endoscopy would show a transfer effect on performance in virtual reality endoscopic surgical simulation. A prospective randomized study was performed. Thirty surgical novices were matched and randomized to five weeks of systematic video game training in either a first-person shooter game (Half Life) with high visual-spatial demands and visual similarities to endoscopy or a video game with mainly cognitive demands (Chessmaster). A matched control group (n = 10) performed no video game training during five weeks. Performance in two virtual reality endoscopic surgical simulators (MIST-VR and GI Mentor II) was measured pre- and post-training. Before simulator training we also controlled for students' visual-spatial ability, visual working memory, age, and previous video game experience. The group training with Half Life showed significant improvement in two GI Mentor II variables and the MIST-VR task MD level medium. The group training with Chessmaster only showed an improvement in the MIST-VR task. No effect was observed in the control group. As recently shown in other studies, current and previous video game experience was important for simulator performance. Systematic video game training improved surgical performance in advanced virtual reality endoscopic simulators. The transfer effect increased when increasing visual similarity. The performance in intense, visual-spatially challenging video games might be a predictive factor for the outcome in surgical simulation.
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              VR to OR: a review of the evidence that virtual reality simulation improves operating room performance.

               N Seymour (2008)
              The use of virtual reality (VR) simulation to train surgeons has been supported by a body of experimental data derived from randomized trials of VR simulation training versus no such training. These investigations have focused on the use of VR devices to train surgeons in laparoscopic and flexible endoscopic skills, and the studies have generally demonstrated that skills acquired through courses of training in VR transfer to the clinical or animal laboratory setting, where assessments of various types have been used to measure performance. These studies, as well as the study model that describes them, and the future of randomized trials of this type are reviewed.

                Author and article information

                Int J Med Educ
                Int J Med Educ
                International Journal of Medical Education
                21 February 2016
                : 7
                : 56-61
                [1 ]Department of Clinical Science, Intervention and Technology (CLINTEC), Division of Orthopedics and Biotechnology Karolinska Institutet, Stockholm, Sweden
                [2 ]Department of Psychology, Umeå University, Umeå, Sweden
                Author notes
                Correspondence: Marcus Schlickum, Department of Clinical Science, Intervention and Technology (CLINTEC), Division of Orthopedics and Biotechnology Karolinska Institutet, Stockholm, Sweden. Email: marcus.schlickum@ 123456ki.se
                Copyright: © 2016 Marcus Schlickum et al.

                This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use of work provided the original work is properly cited. http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0/

                Original Research
                Visual-Spatial Ability Vs Motivation


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