Torkington J, Smith SG, Rees BI, Darzi A. Skill transfer from virtual reality to a real laparoscopic task. Surg Endosc. 2001 Oct;15(10):1076-9

PMID: 11727073


To validate the usefulness of virtual reality surgical simulators, we investigated the transfer of skills achieved by their use to real tasks. METHODS: Thirty medical students underwent a pretest using a real laparoscopic trainer. They were then randomized to the following three groups: group I received no training; group II received training using the Minimal Invasive Surgical Trainer in Virtual Reality (MIST-VR); and group III received training using conventional training exercises. Each group then underwent a posttest. Using the Imperial College Surgical Assessment Device (ICSAD), scores were generated for time taken, distance traveled, number of movements made, and speed of instrument movement. RESULTS: Significant changes between the MIST-VR group (group II) and the conventionally trained group (group III), were observed in the speed of movement of the left hand and the numbers of movements taken by each hand, when compared to the untrained group (group I). CONCLUSION: The training of novices using MIST-VR yields quantifiable changes in skill that are transferable to a simple real task and are similar to the results achieved with conventional training.