Can a virtual reality surgical simulation training provide a self-driven and mentor-free skills learning? Investigation of the practical influence of the performance metrics from the virtual reality robotic surgery simulator on the skill learning and associated cognitive workloads

Gyusung I. Lee, Mija R. Lee

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Background: While it is often claimed that virtual reality (VR) training system can offer self-directed and mentor-free skill learning using the system’s performance metrics (PM), no studies have yet provided evidence-based confirmation. This experimental study investigated what extent to which trainees achieved their self-learning with a current VR simulator and whether additional mentoring improved skill learning, skill transfer and cognitive workloads in robotic surgery simulation training. Methods: Thirty-two surgical trainees were randomly assigned to either the Control-Group (CG) or Experiment-Group (EG). While the CG participants reviewed the PM at their discretion, the EG participants had explanations about PM and instructions on how to improve scores. Each subject completed a 5-week training using four simulation tasks. Pre- and post-training data were collected using both a simulator and robot. Peri-training data were collected after each session. Skill learning, time spent on PM (TPM), and cognitive workloads were compared between groups. Results: After the simulation training, CG showed substantially lower simulation task scores (82.9 ± 6.0) compared with EG (93.2 ± 4.8). Both groups demonstrated improved physical model tasks performance with the actual robot, but the EG had a greater improvement in two tasks. The EG exhibited lower global mental workload/distress, higher engagement, and a better understanding regarding using PM to improve performance. The EG’s TPM was initially long but substantially shortened as the group became familiar with PM. Conclusion: Our study demonstrated that the current VR simulator offered limited self-skill learning and additional mentoring still played an important role in improving the robotic surgery simulation training.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1-11
Number of pages11
JournalSurgical Endoscopy and Other Interventional Techniques
DOIs
StateAccepted/In press - Jun 20 2017

Keywords

  • Mentoring
  • Performance metrics
  • Robotic surgery
  • Simulation
  • Training
  • Virtual reality

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery

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