The Impact of Simulation Training on Operative Performance in General Surgery: Lessons Learned from a Prospective Randomized Trial

Robert Naples, Judith C. French, Amy Y. Han, Jeremy M. Lipman, Michael M. Awad

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Background: Practice in the simulated environment can improve surgical skills. However, the transfer of open complex surgical skills to the operating room is unclear. This study evaluated the effect of resident operative performance following a simulation experience on a hand-sewn small bowel anastomosis and determined the impact of utilizing proficiency-based training. Methods: Nine categorical interns performed a hand-sewn small bowel anastomosis in the operating room prior to (pre-test) and following (post-test) a 3-h simulation training session with an assessment at the end. Participants were randomly assigned to 1of 2 simulation training groups: proficiency-based or standard. Operative performance was videotaped. 2 independent, blinded faculty surgeons assessed performances by a global rating scale. Pre- and post-confidence levels were obtained on a 5-point Likert scale. Results: Overall, pre-test and post-test operative performance was similar (3 [IQR, 2.5 –3.5] versus 3 [IQR, 3 –3], P = 0.59). Furthermore, no difference was observed in the post-test performance with proficiency-based or standard training (3 [IQR, 3 –3] versus 3 [IQR, 3 –3], P = 0.73). Self-reported confidence with the skills, however, significantly improved (median 1 versus 4, P = 0.007). Conclusions: In this prospective, randomized study, we did not observe an improvement in operative performance following simulation instruction and assessment, with both training groups. Overcoming barriers to skills transfer will be paramount in the future to optimize simulation training in general surgery. These findings highlight the importance of continued study for the ideal conditions and timing of technical skills training.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)513-521
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Surgical Research
Volume270
DOIs
StatePublished - Feb 2022

Keywords

  • Operative performance
  • Proficiency
  • Simulation
  • Small bowel anastomosis
  • Surgical skills
  • Training

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