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The effect of repeated full immersion simulation training in ureterorenoscopy on mental workload of novice operators

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Takashige Abe, Faizan Dar, Passakorn Amnattrakul, Abdullatif Aydin, Nicholas Raison, Nobuo Shinohara, Muhammad Shamim Khan, Kamran Ahmed, Prokar Dasgupta

Original languageEnglish
Article number318
Pages (from-to)318
JournalBmc Medical Education
Issue number1
Accepted/In press13 Aug 2019
Published22 Aug 2019

King's Authors


BACKGROUND: Difficult surgical procedures may result in a higher mental workload, leading to increased fatigue and subsequent errors. This study was aimed to investigate the effect of repeated simulation training in ureterorenoscopy in a high-fidelity setting on the performance and mental workload of novice operators.

METHODS: Medical students voluntarily participated in the present simulation study. After a didactic and video-based lecture, they underwent simulation training involving a renal stone case, including a rigid cystoscope component (task 1, performing a WHO checklist, assembling a scope, and insertion of a guide-wire and an access sheath after examining the bladder) and a flexible ureterorenoscope component (task 2, retrieving a stone located in the upper calyx using a basket after inspecting the upper, middle, and lower calyx). Training was performed in a mock operating theater. Technical skills were assessed by one author (an experienced urologist) onsite using an Objective Structured Assessment of Technical Skills (OSATS) score at each training session. The mental workload was subjectively evaluated by the National Aeronautics and Space Administration Task Load Index (NASA-TLX) questionnaire after each training session.

RESULTS: Seventeen students completed a minimum of 6 training sessions (male: female = 10: 7, median age of 22) over a median of 21 days (range, 10-32). In both tasks 1 and 2, the OSATS score improved over the 6 sessions with evidence of plateauing (MANOVA model, task 1: p < 0.0001, task 2: p < 0.0001). In contrast, the NASA-TLX score persistently decreased without plateauing (task 1: p = 0.0005, task 2: p = 0.0028).

CONCLUSIONS: Under repeated simulation training in ureterorenoscopy in a high-fidelity setting, participants showed a continual decrease of the mental workload, while the improvement of technical skills reached a plateau over the 6 sessions. Our study showed the important benefit of simulation training to reduce the mental workload by repeated scenario training before actual clinical practice.

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