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Minim Invasive Ther Allied Technol. 2009;18(4):232-8. doi: 10.1080/13645700903054046.

Serious gaming and voluntary laparoscopic skills training: a multicenter study.

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Department of BioMechanical Engineering, Delft University of Technology, Delft, the Netherlands.


This study assesses the issue of voluntary training of a standardized online competition (serious gaming) between surgical residents. Surgical residents were invited to join a competition on a virtual reality (VR) simulator for laparoscopic motor skills. A final score was calculated based on the task performance of three exercises and was presented to all the participants through an online database on the Internet. The resident with the best score would win a lap-top computer. During three months, 31 individuals from seven hospitals participated (22 surgical residents, 3 surgeons and six interns). A total of 777 scores were logged in the database. In order to out-perform others some participants scheduled themselves voluntarily for additional training. More attempts correlated with higher scores. The serious gaming concept may enhance voluntary skills training. Online data capturing could facilitate monitoring of skills progression in surgical trainees and enhance (VR) simulator validation.

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