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Laparoscopic Skill and Mental Workload Measured over Retention Interval
Linköping University, Department of Computer and Information Science, Human-Centered systems. Linköping University, Faculty of Arts and Sciences. (COIN)ORCID iD: 0000-0001-5943-0679
Old Dominion University, Norfolk, Virginia, Unites States.
Eastern Virginia Western School, Norfolk, Virginia, United States.
Old Dominion University, Norfolk, Virginia, Unites States.
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2016 (English)In: Abstracts to be Presented at the 16th Annual International Meeting on Simulation in Healthcare: January 16th – 20th, 2016 San Diego, CA, 2016Conference paper, Abstract (Refereed)
Abstract [en]

Methods: Fourteen students (3 males, 12 females; ages 23Y28 years) from Eastern

VirginiaMedical School’sMaster of Surgical Assisting Program participated in this IRB

approved study. Participants practiced the peg transfer task from the FLS curriculum on

a box simulator for 20Y30 minutes over 9Y15 weekly sessions. Their course schedule

required all students to stop training after the 15th week irrespective of their performance

level. They returned after a 1-month interval to resume training. The dependent

measure was task completion time. The secondary task presented images of four balls in

a simulated tunnel, superimposed at 50% transparency over the laparoscopic display so

that both tasks were in focal vision. Images were presented for 300 msec every 2Y4 sec.

On half of the presentations, one ball changed its position. Participants had to detect

those changes by pressing a foot pedal. The dependent variables were the proportion of

correctly identified targets and false alarms.

Hypothesis: Performing laparoscopy places heavy demands on visual attention and

requires extensive practice to achieve proficiency. Recently, some researchers have

measured the mental workload imposed by laparoscopy using the secondary task

technique.1,2 According to multiple resource theory, pools of attentional resources are

distinguished by perceptual/cognitive processing stages, verbal and spatial processing

codes, and sensory modality with the vision separated into focal and peripheral

channels.3 Thus, a secondary task that competes for the same resources as a primary

task will cause interference and can be sensitive to differences in mental workload. In

this study,mental workload was assessed with a secondary task that uses the same visual

spatial resources as laparoscopy.We studied effects of refraining from practice during a

1-month interval. We expected to see a decline in performance after the delay, but our

goal was to see if decline would be present in the workload measure.

Results: Three sets of tests were performed: the data for the last two training trials (N

and N-1), the last training trial (N) and the initial retention test after the delay interval,

and the initial retention test vs. a final test after 30 minutes of retraining (see Table 1).

All means were evaluated with dependent t tests (alpha = .05). There were no differences

between the last two training trials on any measure. The peg task completion

times were significantly longer on the initial test compared to the last training trial,

t(13) = 2.36, p G .05. There were no differences between the initial and final test on any

measure (p 9 .05).

Conclusion: The results show minimal effects on the peg transfer task from the FLS

program over a 1-month retention interval. Mean completion times were significantly

longer after the delay interval, but only by 6 seconds (or less than 10%). There were no

significant differences on the secondary task. Thus, the slower performance times were

not accompanied by any appreciable changes in mental workload. These results show

that 9 Y 15 training sessions were sufficient to establish robust skills for the peg transfer

task and that these skills were fairly resilient to a moderate disruption in the training

schedule. Further, the secondary task used in this study was shown to provide an alternative

index of laparoscopic workload that can complement traditional metrics of

speed and accuracy. Future research is needed to examine disruption effects over a

wider range of laparoscopic tasks and longer intervals.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2016.
National Category
Other Medical Sciences not elsewhere specified
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-132776DOI: 10.1097/SIH.0000000000000130OAI: oai:DiVA.org:liu-132776DiVA: diva2:1049199
Conference
16th Annual International Meeting on Simulation in Health Care
Available from: 2016-11-23 Created: 2016-11-23 Last updated: 2016-11-30Bibliographically approved

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