Correlating fibreoptic nasotracheal endoscopy performance and psychomotor aptitude.

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Abstract

We have investigated the correlation between the scores attained on computerized psychometric tests, measuring psychomotor and information processing aptitudes, and learning fibreoptic endoscopy with the videoendoscope. Sixteen anaesthetic trainees performed two adaptive tracking tasks (ADTRACK 2 and ADTRACK 3) and one information management task (MAZE) from the MICROPAT testing system. They then embarked on a standardized fibreoptic training programme during which they performed 15 supervised fibreoptic nasotracheal intubations on anaesthetized oral surgery patients. There was a significant correlation between the means of the 15 endoscopy times and both ADTRACK 2 (r = -0.599, P = 0.014) and ADTRACK 3 (r = -0.589, P = 0.016) scores. The correlation between the means of the 15 endoscopy times and MAZE scores was not significant. The ratios of the mean endoscopy time for the last seven endoscopies to the mean endoscopy time for the first seven endoscopies were not significantly correlated with ADTRACK 2, ADTRACK 3 or MAZE scores. Psychomotor abilities appeared to be determinants of trainees' initial proficiency in endoscopy, but did not appear to be determinants of trainees' rates of progress during early fibreoptic training.

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