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Hysteroscopic Sterilization Using a Virtual Reality Simulator: Assessment of Learning Curve


Janse JA, Goedegebuure RS, Veersema S, Broekmans FJ, Schreuder HW.

J Minim Invasive Gynecol. 2013 Nov-Dec;20(6):775-82. doi: 10.1016/j.jmig.2013.04.016. Epub 2013 Jun 25.

Study Objective

To assess the learning curve using a virtual reality simulator for hysteroscopic sterilization with the Essure method.


Prospective multicenter study (Canadian Task Force classification II-2). Setting: University and teaching hospital in the Netherlands. Participants: Thirty novices (medical students) and five experts (gynecologists who had performed.150 Essure sterilization procedures). Interventions: All participants performed nine repetitions of bilateral Essure placement on the simulator. Novices returned after 2 weeks and performed a second series of five repetitions to assess retention of skills. Structured observations on performance using the Global Rating Scale and parameters derived from the simulator provided measurements for analysis.

Measurements and Main Results

The learning curve is represented by improvement per procedure. Two-way repeatedmeasures analysis of variance was used to analyze learning curves. Effect size (ES) was calculated to express the practical significance of the results (ES R 0.50 indicates a large learning effect). For all parameters, significant improvements were found in novice performance within nine repetitions. Large learning effects were established for six of eight parameters (p , .001; ES, 0.50–0.96). Novices approached expert level within 9 to 14 repetitions.


The learning curve established in this study endorses future implementation of the simulator in curricula on hysteroscopic skill acquisition for clinicians who are interested in learning this sterilization technique.

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