Surgeon-Authored Virtual Laparoscopic Adrenalectomy Module Is Judged Effective and Preferred Over Traditional Teaching Tools

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Objective. The study assesses user acceptance and effectiveness of a surgeon-authored virtual reality (VR) training module authored by surgeons using the Toolkit for Illustration of Procedures in Surgery (TIPS). Methods. Laparoscopic adrenalectomy was selected to test the TIPS framework on an unusual and complex procedure. No commercial simulation module exists to teach this procedure. A specialist surgeon authored the module, including force-feedback interactive simulation, and designed a quiz to test knowledge of the key procedural steps. Five practicing surgeons, with 15 to 24 years of experience, peer reviewed and tested the module. In all, 14 residents and 9 fellows trained with the module and answered the quiz, preuse and postuse. Participants received an overview during Surgical Grand Rounds session and a 20-minute one-on-one tutorial followed by 30 minutes of instruction in addition to a force-feedback interactive simulation session. Additionally, in answering questionnaires, the trainees reflected on their learning experience and their experience with the TIPS framework. Results. Correct quiz response rates on procedural steps improved significantly postuse over preuse. In the questionnaire, 96% of the respondents stated that the TIPS module prepares them well or very well for the adrenalectomy, and 87% indicated that the module successfully teaches the steps of the procedure. All participants indicated that they preferred the module compared to training using purely physical props, one-on-one teaching, medical atlases, and video recordings. Conclusions. Improved quiz scores and endorsement by the participants of the TIPS adrenalectomy module establish the viability of surgeons authoring VR training.

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