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World J Surg. 2010 May;34(5):933-40. doi: 10.1007/s00268-010-0432-5.

Do basic psychomotor skills transfer between different image-based procedures?

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  • 1Faculty of Industrial Design Engineering, Delft University of Technology, Landbergstraat 15, 2628 CE, Delft, The Netherlands. s.n.buzink@tudelft.nl



Surgical techniques that draw from multiple types of image-based procedures (IBP) are increasing, such as Natural Orifice Transluminal Endoscopic Surgery, fusing laparoscopy and flexible endoscopy. However, little is known about the relation between psychomotor skills for performing different types of IBP. For example, do basic psychomotor colonoscopy and laparoscopy skills interact?


Following a cross-over study design, 29 naïve endoscopists were trained on the Simbionix GI Mentor and the SimSurgery SEP simulators. Group C (n = 15) commenced with a laparoscopy session, followed by four colonoscopy sessions and a second laparoscopy session. Group L (n = 14) started with a colonoscopy session, followed by four laparoscopy sessions and a second colonoscopy session.


No significant differences were found between the performances of group L and group C in their first training sessions on either technique. With additional colonoscopy training, group C outperformed group L in the second laparoscopy training session on the camera navigation task.


Overall, training in the basic colonoscopy tasks does not affect performance of basic laparoscopy tasks (and vice versa). However, to limited extent, training of basic psychomotor skills for colonoscopy do appear to contribute to the performance of angled laparoscope navigation tasks. Thus, training and assessment of IBP type-specific skills should focus on each type of tasks independently. Future research should further investigate the influence of psychometric abilities on the performance of IBP and the transfer of skills for physicians who are experienced in one IBP type and would like to become proficient in another type of IBP.

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