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J Am Assoc Gynecol Laparosc. 1994 Aug;1(4, Part 2):S37.

Acquisition of Eye-hand Coordination Skills for Videoendoscopic Surgery

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  • 1Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Stanford University School of Medicine, Stanford Endoscopy Center for Training and Technology, 750 Welch Road, Stanford, CA 94305.


Evaluation of eye-hand coordination skills in relation to experiential human factors may lead to improved instruction for videoendoscopic surgical skills acquisition. Twenty-nine subjects (medical students or residents in surgical specialties) volunteered to perform three exercises of increasing complexity in an "inanimate" trainer system that simulated the eye-hand coordination tasks inherent in a laboratory videoendoscopic surgical environment. Fourteen subjects participated in a biweekly practice program of 4 weeks duration using an inanimate trainer. Fifteen subjects had no practice on the laparoscopic trainer during the 4 weeks. Both groups were tested after demonstration on three exercises at the beginning and end of a 4 week period and all performed the procedures in solitude. Both groups of subjects increased performance levels (time and accuracy) over the four weeks, but improvement was significantly greater for the practicing subjects. After eight sessions, convergence of performance levels was observed, but plateauing of performance levels was not evident, even with the simple paradigms evaluated. To investigate what factors contribute to learning, subjects were assessed with respect to their surgical experiences, personality, and self-evaluated motor skills. Subjects with prior endoscopic surgical experience, interest in mechanical activities (as measured by the Strong Interest Inventory), or regular engagement in video game play tended to be more skillful initially, but demonstrated less improvement in performance levels after practice than subjects who had lower levels of experience, interest, or video game play. Manual dexterity (as measured by the Purdue Pegboard Manual Dexterity Test) was positively related to the degree of observed improvement. We conclude that "inanimate" videoendoscopic paradigms offer relatively inexpensive and useful training exercises for acquiring basic eye-hand coordination skills. Relevance for animate laboratory skills requirements are probable but can only be inferred. Subjects with manual dexterity skills used in video games may perform better initially in the inanimate videoendoscopic situation but this advantage is shortlived.

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