Background: Virtual reality laparoscopic simulators have proven effective for the acquisition and transfer of laparoscopic skill and offer the advantages of automatically recording participant performance, providing feedback, and minimizing the need for instructor involvement. Such simulators offer multiple performance metrics but their importance for proficiency-based training is poorly understood. The objective of this study was to investigate the value of motion metrics during a proficiency-based laparoscopic virtual reality simulator curriculum.
Methods: Novices (n=7) were enrolled in an IRB approved protocol. Participants followed a proficiency based curriculum on the 9 basic laparoscopic tasks of the Lap Mentor virtual reality (VR) simulator. Expert performance levels were established for all tasks and for all metrics at the beginning of the study. The training goal was based on time and errors and consisted of average expert performance + 2 standard deviations for each task. The number of repetitions to achieve the proficiency level in two consecutive attempts for each metric was recorded. We recorded which metric was the most difficult to achieve the expert levels in. Inability to achieve the motion levels by the end of training was considered evidence for the value of the motion metrics as their incorporation into the training goals would have likely extended training duration. Results are reported as mean ± sd. P
Program Number: P185