Short-term sleep deficits do not adversely affect acquisition of laparoscopic skills in a laboratory setting

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Residents often are sleep deprived after being on call. This study evaluated the effects of these sleep deficits on the acquisition of laparoscopic skills in the laboratory setting.


The amount of sleep on the preceding night was recorded for 40 residents undergoing surgical skills training. The residents underwent a pretest, training, practice, and a posttest using basic (pegboard, cup drop, rope pass) and task-specific (pattern cutting, clip application, loop application) drills. Time to completion, penalty score, and total score were assessed.


Significant improvements were seen in the time and total score for all six drills, with a significant decrease in penalty scores noted for the pegboard and rope pass drills. No significant differences in skill acquisition were attributable to amount of sleep.


Training in the laboratory results in significant improvement of basic laparoscopic skills. Because short-term sleep deficits do not appear to hinder the acquisition of these skills, this model can be effectively applied, even after residents have been on call.

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