Evaluation of the educational value of a virtual reality TURP simulator according to a curriculum-based approach

AuthorTjiam IM, Berkers CH, Schout BM, Brinkman WM, Witjes JA, Scherpbier AJ, Hendrikx AJ, Koldewijn EL


This study aimed to evaluate the place of the TURPsim (VirtaMed) within a urologic residency training curriculum, including training needs analysis (TNA) and investigating its validity.

Materials and methods

Training needs analysis was conducted by an expert panel to identify procedural steps and pitfalls. Performance metrics of the simulator were compared with the TNA results. Participants were distributed according to their level of experience (completed transurethral resection of the prostate [TURP] procedures) as follows: novices (0), intermediates (1-50), and experts (>50). They followed standardized instructions and then performed 2 complete TURP procedures on the TURPsim.


Ten of 22 procedural steps (TNA) and 4 of 11 pitfalls were covered by the TURPsim. A total of 66 participants, 22 in each group, were included. Median general judgment (face and content) about the TURPsim was rated 7.3 (median, 7; range, 3-9). Ninety-three percent of all participants qualified the TURPsim as a useful training model. Intermediates and experts had a significant faster resection time and less blood loss compared with novices (construct) (P = 0.001). Novices needed to re-resect previous lobes, and they also resected the prostate in the incorrect order more frequently compared with intermediates and experts.


Training needs analysis is of paramount importance in the evaluation process of a training program. This curriculum-based approach including validity of a simulator seems valuable and may narrow the gap between skills laboratory and clinical practice. This study showed face, content, and construct validity of the TURPsim, and this simulator finds its place in the current urologic curriculum to train basic and procedural TURP skills.