World Journal of Surgery

, Volume 25, Issue 11, pp 1478–1483 | Cite as

Objective Psychomotor Skills Assessment of Experienced, Junior, and Novice Laparoscopists with Virtual Reality

  • Anthony G. Gallagher, Ph.D.
  • Karen Richie, B.Sc.
  • Neil McClure, M.D.
  • Jim McGuigan

Objective assessment of psychomotor skills in surgery is now a priority; however, this assessment is difficult to achieve because of measurement difficulties associated with the reliability and validity of assessing surgical skills in vivo and in the laboratory. In this study virtual reality (VR) was used to overcome these problems in the objective psychomotor assessment of senior, junior, and novice laparoscopists. Twelve experienced laparoscopic surgeons (performed >50 Minimal Access Surgery (MAS) procedures), 12 inexperienced laparoscopic surgeons (<10 MAS procedures), and 12 laparoscopic novices (no MAS procedures) participated in the study. Each subject completed all six tasks of the Minimally Invasive Surgical Trainer; Virtual Reality (MIST VR). In comparison to the other groups, experienced laparoscopic surgeons performed the tasks significantly (p < 0.01) faster, had a lower error rate, were more economic in their movement of surgical instruments and in the use of diathermy. As a group they also showed greater consistency in their performance. MIST VR distinguished between the three groups of laparoscopists. VR provides a useful objective assessment tool for evaluating psychomotor skills for laparoscopic surgery.

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Copyright information

© 2001 Société Internationale de Chiru rgie

Authors and Affiliations

  • Anthony G. Gallagher, Ph.D.
    • 1
  • Karen Richie, B.Sc.
    • 1
  • Neil McClure, M.D.
    • 1
  • Jim McGuigan
    • 1
  1. 1.The Northern Ireland Centre for Endoscopic Training and Research and The Queen's University of Belfast, Malone Road, Belfast BT7 1NN, United KingdomUK

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