Multi-Institutional Validation of Fundamental Inanimate Robotic Skills Tasks

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Abstract

Purpose:

Our group has previously reported the development and validation of FIRST (Fundamental Inanimate Robotic Skills Tasks), a series of 4 inanimate robotic skills tasks. Expanding on the initial validation, we now report face, content and construct validity of FIRST in a large multi-institutional cohort of experts and trainees.

Materials and Methods:

A total of 96 residents, fellows and attending surgeons completed the FIRST exercises at participating institutions. Participants were classified based on previous robotic experience and task performance was compared across groups to establish construct validity. Face and content validity was assessed from participant ratings of the tasks on a 5-point Likert scale.

Results:

A total of 51 novice, 22 intermediate and 23 expert participants with a median previous robotic experience of 0 (range 0 to 3), 10 (range 5 to 30) and 200 cases (range 55 to 2,000), respectively (p <0.001), were assessed across all 4 inanimate robotic skills tasks. Expert and intermediate groups reliably outperformed novices (p <0.01). Experts also performed better than intermediates on all exercises (p <0.01). A survey of participants on their perceptions of the tasks yielded excellent face and content validity.

Conclusions:

We confirm robust face, content and construct validity of 4 inanimate robotic training tasks in a large multi-institutional cohort. FIRST tasks are reliably able to discern among expert, intermediate and novice robotic surgeons. Validation data from this large multi-institutional cohort is useful as we incorporate these tasks into a comprehensive robotic training curriculum.

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