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Validation of the updated ArthroS simulator: face and construct validity of a passive haptic virtual reality simulator with novel performance metrics

 

Patrick Garfjeld Roberts, Paul Guyver, Mathew Baldwin, Kash Akhtar, Abtin Alvand, Andrew J. Price, Jonathan L. Rees

 

Knee Surg Sports Traumatol Arthrosc (2017) 25: 616. doi:10.1007/s00167-016-4114-1

Purpose

To assess the construct and face validity of ArthroS, a passive haptic VR simulator. A secondary aim was to evaluate the novel performance metrics produced by this simulator.

Methods

Two groups of 30 participants, each divided into novice, intermediate or expert based on arthroscopic experience, completed three separate tasks on either the knee or shoulder module of the simulator. Performance was recorded using 12 automatically generated performance metrics and video footage of the arthroscopic procedures. The videos were blindly assessed using a validated global rating scale (GRS). Participants completed a survey about the simulator’s realism and training utility.

Results

This new simulator demonstrated construct validity of its tasks when evaluated against a GRS (p ≤ 0.003 in all cases). Regarding it’s automatically generated performance metrics, established outputs such as time taken (p ≤ 0.001) and instrument path length (p ≤ 0.007) also demonstrated good construct validity. However, two-thirds of the proposed ‘novel metrics’ the simulator reports could not distinguish participants based on arthroscopic experience. Face validity assessment rated the simulator as a realistic and useful tool for trainees, but the passive haptic feedback (a key feature of this simulator) is rated as less realistic.

Conclusions

The ArthroS simulator has good task construct validity based on established objective outputs, but some of the novel performance metrics could not distinguish between surgical experience. The passive haptic feedback of the simulator also needs improvement. If simulators could offer automated and validated performance feedback, this would facilitate improvements in the delivery of training by allowing trainees to practise and self-assess.

Keywords

Simulation, Arthroscopy, Training, Virtual reality 

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