Surgical Endoscopy

, Volume 27, Issue 7, pp 2606–2612 | Cite as

The efficacy of laparoscopic skills training in a Mobile Simulation Unit compared with a fixed site: a comparative study

  • Vicki Xafis
  • Wendy Babidge
  • John Field
  • Meryl Altree
  • Nicholas Marlow
  • Guy Maddern



Laparoscopic skills development via simulation-based medical education programs has gained support in recent years. However, the impact of training site type on skills acquisition has not been examined. The objective of this research was to determine whether laparoscopic skills training outcomes differ as a result of training in a Mobile Simulation Unit (MSU) compared with fixed simulation laboratories.


An MSU was developed to provide delivery of training. Fixed-site and MSU laparoscopic skills training outcomes data were compared. Fixed-site participants from three Australian states were pooled to create a cohort of 144 participants, which was compared with a cohort derived from pooled MSU participants in one Australian state. Data were sourced from training periods held from October 2009 to December 2010. LapSim and Fundamentals of laparoscopic surgery (FLS) simulators were used at the MSU and fixed sites. Participants self-reported on demographic and experience variables. They trained to a level of competence on one simulator and were assessed on the other simulator, thus producing crossover scores. No participants trained at both site types.


When FLS-trained participants were assessed on LapSim, those who received MSU training achieved a significantly higher crossover score than their fixed-site counterparts (p < 0.001). Compared with baseline data, MSU LapSim-trained participants assessed on FLS displayed a performance increase of 23.1 %, whereas MSU FLS-trained participants assessed on LapSim demonstrated a 12.4 % increase in performance skills. Participants at fixed sites displayed performance increases of 5.2 and 10.9 %, respectively.


Mobile Simulation Unit-delivered laparoscopic simulation training is not inferior to fixed-site training.


Laparoscopic skills Simulation Surgical training Fundamentals of laparoscopic surgery LapSim Mobile training unit 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  • Vicki Xafis
    • 1
  • Wendy Babidge
    • 1
    • 2
  • John Field
    • 3
  • Meryl Altree
    • 1
  • Nicholas Marlow
    • 1
  • Guy Maddern
    • 1
    • 2
  1. 1.Research, Audit, and Academic Surgery DivisionRoyal Australasian College of SurgeonsNorth AdelaideAustralia
  2. 2.Department of SurgeryUniversity of Adelaide, Queen Elizabeth HospitalWoodvilleAustralia
  3. 3.John Field Consulting Pty LtdAdelaideAustralia

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