Can a Nintendo Wii Be Considered Homework and Does It Improve Performance on a Surgical Simulator?

Background: Computer based simulators are increasingly being used to assist trainees in the acquisition and development of surgically relevant psychomotor skills. Work hour restrictions and other educational demands have made achieving adequate practice on these simulators challenging ,and others suggest that experience playing video games translates into improved performance on surgical simulators. We hypothesized that providing a modified video game console for home use, “homework”, would improve overall practice times and translate into improved surgical simulator performance without adding to the work hour burden of the surgical resident.
Methods: We conducted a pilot prospective randomized trial with 8 surgery residents. Three residents were given a modified Nintendo Wii TM based on the “WiiMote” by Smith and Kahol and the game “Marble Mania” to take home for 4 weeks (Group A). The remaining 5 residents were provided unlimited access to the same video game in the Simulation Lab (Group B) for the same time period. Video game practice times for all participants were recorded. Both groups underwent pre and post test performance evaluation using the PromisTM Surgical Simulator utilizing the circle cutting and the suturing and knot tying tasks. Statistical significance was determined using the Wilcoxon sign rank test (p

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Program Number: P228

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