Haptic Simulator Enhances Students' Clinical Skills over Four Years

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


Objectives: To compare the effects of the haptic-based virtual dental simulator (hapTEL) with the traditional phantom head simulator (PhS) on the clinical skills development of four student cohorts (2007–2012).

Methods: Four overlapping studies of BDS-undergraduate students taught clinical skills using PhS and/or using hapTEL. Students’ spatial reasoning and manipulative skills were assessed by psychometric pre and post-tests and/or traditional OSCE tests, and/or using hapTEL for which computer log-files were recorded by the system.
Study-1: (4-year study–students taught using PhS). Entry-cohort 2007, N=133, tested in June/2008, March/2009, July/2010, May/2011 and February/2012 (using hapTEL system;N=68).
Study-2: (3-year study–all students taught using PhS). Entry-cohort 2008, N=133, tested in March/2010, June/2011, October/2011 and June/2012.
Study-3: (3-year study-46 using hapTEL; 98 students taught using PhS). Entry-cohort 2009, N=144, tested in October/2009, December/2009, March/2011 and June/2012.
Study-4: (2-year study-total cohort of 138 taught using both systems in rotation). Entry-cohort 2010, N=138, tested in October/2010, December/2010 and April/2012.

Results: Study-1 showed significant correlation between gross motor skills’ scores (GMS) and clinical skills examination results of the 2nd (CSE), 3rd (OSCE-Y3) and 4th (OSCE-Y4) academic year. Post Block Design Test (post-BDT)-spatial awareness showed low-to-moderate statistically significant correlation with practical part of the 2nd year clinical skills’ examination. Study-2, the scores of fine motor skills (FMS) showed significant correlation with OSCE-Y4 results. In Study 3, the students who used the hapTEL system showed greater improvement in their visio-spatial abilities compared to the control group who only used the PhS.

Conclusions: The results from three of the four studies showed there a stronger association between students’ clinical performance and their psychomotor development, but for those who used the hapTEL system a more consistent positive effect on psychomotor skills than those using the traditional system over the same period of time.
Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of Dental Research
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2015


Dive into the research topics of 'Haptic Simulator Enhances Students' Clinical Skills over Four Years'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this