Computer-based Haptic and Nonhaptic Virtual Reality Surgical Simulators: Performance Characteristics and Perceptions of New Users

Background: In order to define the value and perception of importance of haptic features in virtual reality (VR) laparoscopic simulators, we evaluated the initial experience of surgeons using both haptic and nonhaptic simulation devices in the performance of an advanced laparoscopic task.
Methods: At the 2008 SAGES meeting, 68 Learning Center attendees were randomized to use either a VR simulator with a haptic (LapSim [LS], Göteborg, Sweden) or a non-haptic interface (SurgicalSIM [SS], SimSurgery, Oslo, Norway and METI, Sarasota, FL). Demographic, training and prior experience data were collected by intake survey and subjects then performed one iteration of a suturing and knot-tying task on their respective devices. A post-task multi-item survey was used to rate impressions of haptic importance and quality, overall task realism, interface quality, and educational value (5 point Likert scale). Comparisons of machine-generated task performance data for user-defined novice, intermediate and expert groups were made for each device by ANOVA. Post-task survey responses were compared by Mann Whitney U-test.
Results: 31 attendees (5 novice, 22 intermediate, 4 expert) randomized to SS and 37 (10 novice, 21 intermediate, 6 expert) to LS. Experience-related differences in performance were observed for novice, intermediate and expert groups on the SS for task time (413 ± 143, 273 ± 90, 237 ± 47 respectively; p

Session: Podium Presentation

Program Number: S014

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