Virtual reality laparoscopy: which potential trainee starts with a higher proficiency level?

  • M. Paschold
  • M. Schröder
  • D. W. Kauff
  • T. Gorbauch
  • M. Herzer
  • H. Lang
  • W. Kneist
Original Article



Minimally invasive surgery requires technical skills distinct from those used in conventional surgery. The aim of this prospective study was to identify personal characteristics that may predict the attainable proficiency level of first-time virtual reality laparoscopy (VRL) trainees.


Two hundred and seventy-nine consecutive undergraduate medical students without experience attended a standardized VRL training. Performance data of an abstract and a procedural task were correlated with possible predictive factors providing potential competence in VRL.


Median global score requirement status was 86.7% (interquartile range (IQR) 75–93) for the abstract task and 74.4% (IQR 67–88) for the procedural task. Unadjusted analysis showed significant increase in the global score in both tasks for trainees who had a gaming console at home and frequently used it as well as for trainees who felt self-confident to assist in a laparoscopic operation. Multiple logistic regression analysis identified frequency of video gaming (often/frequently vs. rarely/not at all, odds ratio: abstract model 2.1 (95% confidence interval 1.2; 3.6), P = 0.009; virtual reality operation procedure 2.4 (95% confidence interval 1.3; 4.2), P = 0.003) as a predictive factor for VRL performance.


Frequency of video gaming is associated with quality of first-time VRL performance. Video game experience may be used as trainee selection criteria for tailored concepts of VRL training programs.


Surgical training Minimally invasive surgery Simulation Technical skills Virtual reality laparoscopy 


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Copyright information

© CARS 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  • M. Paschold
    • 1
  • M. Schröder
    • 1
  • D. W. Kauff
    • 1
  • T. Gorbauch
    • 2
  • M. Herzer
    • 3
  • H. Lang
    • 1
  • W. Kneist
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of General and Abdominal SurgeryUniversity Medicine of the Johannes Gutenberg-University MainzMainzGermany
  2. 2.Interdisciplinary Center for Clinical Trials (IZKS)University Medicine of the Johannes Gutenberg-University MainzMainzGermany
  3. 3.Department of Quality-Management and -DevelopmentJohannes Gutenberg-University of MainzMainzGermany

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