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Anesthesiology. 2008 Dec;109(6):1007-13. doi: 10.1097/ALN.0b013e31818d6c3c.

Fiberoptic oral intubation: the effect of model fidelity on training for transfer to patient care.

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Department of Anesthesiology, St. Michael's Hospital, University of Toronto, Canada.



Previous studies have indicated that fiberoptic orotracheal intubation (FOI) skills can be learned outside the operating room. The purpose of this study was to determine which of two educational interventions allows learners to gain greater capacity for performing the procedure.


Respiratory therapists were randomly assigned to a low-fidelity or high-fidelity training model group. The low-fidelity group was guided by experts, on a nonanatomic model designed to refine fiberoptic manipulation skills. The high-fidelity group practiced their skills on a computerized virtual reality bronchoscopy simulator. After training, subjects performed two consecutive FOIs on healthy, anesthetized patients with predicted "easy" intubations. Each subject's FOI was evaluated by blinded examiners, using a validated global rating scale and checklist. Success and time were also measured.


Data were analyzed using a two-way mixed design analysis of variance. There was no significant difference between the low-fidelity (n = 14) and high-fidelity (n = 14) model groups when compared with the global rating scale, checklist, time, and success at achieving tracheal intubation (all P = not significant). Second attempts in both groups were significantly better than first attempts (P < 0.001), and there was no interaction between "fidelity of training model" and "first versus second attempt" scores.


There was no added benefit from training on a costly virtual reality model with respect to transfer of FOI skills to intraoperative patient care. Second attempts in both groups were significantly better than first attempts. Low-fidelity models for FOI training outside the operating room are an alternative for programs with budgetary constraints.

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