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Integration and Validation of Hysteroscopy Simulation in the Surgical Training Curriculum

 

Mohamed Elessawy, Moritz Skrzipczyk, Christel Eckmann-Scholz, Nicolai Maass, Liselotte Mettler, Veronika Guenther, Marion van Mackelenbergh, Dirk O. Bauerschlag, Ibrahim Alkatout

 

Journal of Surgical Education
DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jsurg.2016.06.007
Department of Gynecology and Obstetrics, University Hospitals Schleswig-Holstein, Kiel, Germany

Objective

The primary objective of our study was to test the construct validity of the HystSim hysteroscopic simulator to determine whether simulation training can improve the acquisition of hysteroscopic skills regardless of the previous levels of experience of the participants. The secondary objective was to analyze the performance of a selected task, using specially designed scoring charts to help reduce the learning curve for both novices and experienced surgeons.

Design

The teaching of hysteroscopic intervention has received only scant attention, focusing mainly on the development of physical models and box simulators. This encouraged our working group to search for a suitable hysteroscopic simulator module and to test its validation. We decided to use the HystSim hysteroscopic simulator, which is one of the few such simulators that has already completed a validation process, with high ratings for both realism and training capacity. As a testing tool for our study, we selected the myoma resection task. We analyzed the results using the multimetric score system suggested by HystSim, allowing a more precise interpretation of the results.

Setting

Between June 2014 and May 2015, our group collected data on 57 participants of minimally invasive surgical training courses at the Kiel School of Gynecological Endoscopy, Department of Gynecology and Obstetrics, University Hospitals Schleswig-Holstein, Campus Kiel.

Participants

The novice group consisted of 42 medical students and residents with no prior experience in hysteroscopy, whereas the expert group consisted of 15 participants with more than 2 years of experience of advanced hysteroscopy operations.

Results

The overall results demonstrated that all participants attained significant improvements between their pretest and posttests, independent of their previous levels of experience (p < 0.002). Those in the expert group demonstrated statistically significant, superior scores in the pretest and posttests (p = 0.001, p = 0.006). Regarding visualization and ergonomics, the novices showed a better pretest value than the experts; however, the experts were able to improve significantly during the posttest. These precise findings demonstrated that the multimetric scoring system achieved several important objectives, including clinical relevance, critical relevance, and training motivation.

Conclusion

All participants demonstrated improvements in their hysteroscopic skills, proving an adequate construct validation of the HystSim. Using the multimetric scoring system enabled a more accurate analysis of the performance of the participants independent of their levels of experience which could be an important key for streamlining the learning curve. Future studies testing the predictive validation of the simulator and frequency of the training intervals are necessary before the introduction of the simulator into the standard surgical training curriculum.

Keywords

hysteroscopy, surgical simulation, hysteroscopy simulation, residency training

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