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World J Surg. 2009 Nov;33(11):2360-7. doi: 10.1007/s00268-009-0151-y.

Systematic video game training in surgical novices improves performance in virtual reality endoscopic surgical simulators: a prospective randomized study.

Author information

  • 1Department of Clinical Science Intervention and Technology (CLINTEC), Karolinska Institutet, 141 86 Stockholm, Sweden. aka04rsc@student.ki.se

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

Previous studies have shown a correlation between previous video game experience and performance in minimally invasive surgical simulators. The hypothesis is that systematic video game training with high visual-spatial demands and visual similarity to endoscopy would show a transfer effect on performance in virtual reality endoscopic surgical simulation.

METHODS:

A prospective randomized study was performed. Thirty surgical novices were matched and randomized to five weeks of systematic video game training in either a first-person shooter game (Half Life) with high visual-spatial demands and visual similarities to endoscopy or a video game with mainly cognitive demands (Chessmaster). A matched control group (n = 10) performed no video game training during five weeks. Performance in two virtual reality endoscopic surgical simulators (MIST-VR and GI Mentor II) was measured pre- and post-training. Before simulator training we also controlled for students' visual-spatial ability, visual working memory, age, and previous video game experience.

RESULTS:

The group training with Half Life showed significant improvement in two GI Mentor II variables and the MIST-VR task MD level medium. The group training with Chessmaster only showed an improvement in the MIST-VR task. No effect was observed in the control group. As recently shown in other studies, current and previous video game experience was important for simulator performance.

CONCLUSIONS:

Systematic video game training improved surgical performance in advanced virtual reality endoscopic simulators. The transfer effect increased when increasing visual similarity. The performance in intense, visual-spatially challenging video games might be a predictive factor for the outcome in surgical simulation.

PMID:
19649553
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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