My name is Wouter M. (Martijn) IJgosse and I work as a PhD candidate at the Department of Surgery, Radboud university medical centre, Nijmegen. During my medical rotations, I started with research on the topic of surgical education: the development and use of new technologies for basic and advanced laparoscopic skills training. Right now, I research the potential of serious games in this area. Besides training methodology, I also focus on the characteristics of the trainee to tailor the educational experience to the exact needs of the learner.
Saving robots improves laparoscopic performance: transfer of skills from a serious game to a virtual reality simulator
Residents find it hard to commit to structural laparoscopic skills training. Serious gaming has been proposed as a solution on the premise that it is effective and more motivating than traditional simulation. We investigated construct validity for a laparoscopic game (Underground) by comparing simulator performance for two groups.
The control group (n=50) trained on the FLS video trainer and the LapSim virtual reality simulator for four sessions. The Underground group (n=35) played Underground for three sessions followed by a transfer session on the FLS video trainer and the LapSim. To assess the effect of engaging in serious gameplay on performance on two validated laparoscopic simulators, initial performance on the FLS video trainer and the LapSim was compared between the control group (first session) and the Underground group (fourth session).
We chose task duration as a proxy for laparoscopic performance. The Underground group outperformed the control group on all three LapSim tasks: Camera navigation F(1) = 12.71, p < .01; Instrument navigation F(1) = 8.04, p < .01; and Coordination F(1) = 6.36, p = .01. There was no significant effect of playing Underground for performance on the FLS video trainer Peg transfer task, F(1) = .28, p = .60. Conclusions We demonstrated skills transfer between a serious game and validated laparoscopic simulator technology. Serious gaming may become a valuable, cost-effective addition to the skillslab, if transfer to the operating room can be established. Additionally, we discuss sources of transferable skills to help explain our and previous findings.