Simulated minimal access surgery has improved recently as both a learning and assessment tool. The construct validation of a novel simulator, ProMis, is described for use by residents in training.
ProMis is a surgical simulator that can design tasks in both virtual and actual reality. A pilot group of surgical residents ranging from novice to expert completed three standardized tasks: orientation, dissection, and basic suturing. The tasks were tested for construct validity. Two experienced surgeons examined the recorded tasks in a blinded fashion using an objective structured assessment of technical skills format (OSATS: task-specific checklist and global rating score) as well as metrics delivered by the simulator.
The findings showed excellent interrater reliability (Cronbach’s α of 0.88 for the checklist and 0.93 for the global rating). The median scores in the experience groups were statistically different in both the global rating and the task-specific checklists (p < 0.05). The scores for the orientation task alone did not reach significance (p = 0.1), suggesting that modification is required before ProMis could be used in isolation as an assessment tool.
The three simulated tasks in combination are construct valid for differentiating experience levels among surgeons in training. This hybrid simulator has potential added benefits of marrying the virtual with actual, and of combining simple box traits and advanced virtual reality simulation.
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Broe, D., Ridgway, P.F., Johnson, S. et al. Construct validation of a novel hybrid surgical simulator. Surg Endosc 20, 900–904 (2006). https://doi.org/10.1007/s00464-005-0530-x