No Correlation Between Self-Reported Musical Instrument Experience and Gains in Self-Confidence Levels of Trainees Undergoing Basic Skills Training in Minimally Invasive Surgery

Background: Reduced tactile sensation, two-dimensional depth, and the fulcrum effect make minimally invasive surgery (MIS) a challenge to teach and learn. Although video game experience appears to enhance MIS skills acquisition, the effect of prior experience in other complex motor skills is less clear. We examined if previous experience playing musical instruments contributed to self-confidence for MIS skills acquisition.

Methods: From March to July, 2005, a total of 108 medical students, general surgery residents, and obstetrics/gynecology residents underwent instruction in three basic tasks (two-handed peg transfer, one-handed peg transfer, key threading) on an inanimate box trainer during a single session. Participants provided pre-session information regarding experience with musical instruments. They also completed pre- and post-session questionnaires using a 5-point Likert scale focusing on self-confidence in performing various objectives-related basic MIS skills. Total mean scores and mean gains were calculated. T test was used to determine the effect of prior musical instrument experience on self-confidence.

Results: Three participants failed to complete a pre-session questionnaire, leaving useable data from 105 individuals. Participants reporting prior experience with musical instruments had statistically significant higher pre-session self-confidence scores for only two of twelve items measured compared to those without such experience. Mean gains in self-confidence after training were similar for participants with previous musical experience and those who did not (0.60 ± 0.65 vs. 0.69 ± 0.67, p = 0.68).

Conclusion: A prior musical background does not appear to correlate with gains in self-confidence levels in trainees undergoing basic skills training in minimally invasive surgery.

Session: Poster

Program Number: P181

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