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Clin Otolaryngol. 2015 Dec;40(6):569-79. doi: 10.1111/coa.12414.

Validation of virtual-reality-based simulations for endoscopic sinus surgery.

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Flinders Medical Centre, Adelaide, Australia.
Medical Device Research Institute, Flinders University, Adelaide, Australia.



Virtual reality (VR) simulators provide an alternative to real patients for practicing surgical skills but require validation to ensure accuracy. Here, we validate the use of a virtual reality sinus surgery simulator with haptic feedback for training in Otorhinolaryngology - Head & Neck Surgery (OHNS).


Participants were recruited from final-year medical students, interns, resident medical officers (RMOs), OHNS registrars and consultants. All participants completed an online questionnaire after performing four separate simulation tasks. These were then used to assess face, content and construct validity. anova with post hoc correlation was used for statistical analysis.


The following groups were compared: (i) medical students/interns, (ii) RMOs, (iii) registrars and (iv) consultants. Face validity results had a statistically significant (P < 0.05) difference between the consultant group and others, while there was no significant difference between medical student/intern and RMOs. Variability within groups was not significant. Content validity results based on consultant scoring and comments indicated that the simulations need further development in several areas to be effective for registrar-level teaching. However, students, interns and RMOs indicated that the simulations provide a useful tool for learning OHNS-related anatomy and as an introduction to ENT-specific procedures.


The VR simulations have been validated for teaching sinus anatomy and nasendoscopy to medical students, interns and RMOs. However, they require further development before they can be regarded as a valid tool for more advanced surgical training.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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