van Dongen K, Ahlberg G, Bonavina L, Carter F, Grantcharov T, Hyltander A, Schijven M, Stefani A, van der Zee D, Broeders I. European consensus on a competency-based virtual reality training program for basic endoscopic surgical psychomotor skills. Surg Endosc. 2011 Jan;25(1):166-171

PMID: 20574856


Virtual reality (VR) simulators have been demonstrated to improve basic psychomotor skills in endoscopic surgery. The exercise configuration settings used for validation in studies published so far are default settings or are based on the personal choice of the tutors. The purpose of this study was to establish consensus on exercise configurations and on a validated training program for a virtual reality simulator, based on the experience of international experts to set criterion levels to construct a proficiency-based training program.
A consensus meeting was held with eight European teams, all extensively experienced in using the VR simulator. Construct validity of the training program was tested by 20 experts and 60 novices. The data were analyzed by using the t test for equality of means.
Consensus was achieved on training designs, exercise configuration, and examination. Almost all exercises (7/8) showed construct validity. In total, 50 of 94 parameters (53%) showed significant difference.
A European, multicenter, validated, training program was constructed according to the general consensus of a large international team with extended experience in virtual reality simulation. Therefore, a proficiency-based training program can be offered to training centers that use this simulator for training in basic psychomotor skills in endoscopic surgery.