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Individualized Deliberate Practice on a Virtual Reality Simulator

This study has been completed.
Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada
Information provided by (Responsible Party):
St. Michael's Hospital, Toronto Identifier:
First received: December 7, 2012
Last updated: December 17, 2012
Last verified: December 2012

Training on simulated models in a surgical skills laboratory has been shown to improve technical performance in the operating room. Currently described simulation-based curricula consist of trainees practicing the same tasks until expert proficiency is reached. It has yet to be investigated whether individualized deliberate practice, where curricula tasks vary depending on prior levels of technical proficiency, would translate to the operating room.

This randomized controlled trial effectively demonstrates that deliberate practice on a virtual reality simulator results in an improvement in technical skills in a real clinical situation. This enhances the feasibility of implementing simulation-based curricula into residency training programs, and consequently has the potential to improve patient safety.

Condition Intervention
Education General Surgery Other: Deliberate Practice

Study Type: Interventional
Study Design: Allocation: Randomized
Intervention Model: Parallel Assignment
Masking: Single (Participant)
Official Title: Individualized Deliberate Practice on a Virtual Reality Simulator Improves Technical Performance of Surgical Novices in the Operating Room: A Randomized Controlled Trial

Further study details as provided by St. Michael's Hospital, Toronto:

Primary Outcome Measures:
  • Technical skills [ Time Frame: 6 months ]
    Participants' technical skills will be assessed in the operating room as they perform a laparoscopic cholecystectomy under supervision. The procedure will be video-recorded and sent for assessment to a blinded evaluator. Technical skills will be assessed using a previously validated technical skills assessment tool (Objective Structured Assessment of Technical Skill - OSATS)

Enrollment: 16
Study Start Date: January 2008
Study Completion Date: January 2011
Primary Completion Date: January 2011 (Final data collection date for primary outcome measure)
Arms Assigned Interventions
Experimental: Deliberate Practice
Residents in the deliberate practice group received individualized feedback at the end of the initial assessment case. The staff surgeon supervising the case completed 3 previously validated technical skills assessment forms.
Other: Deliberate Practice
No Intervention: Conventional Feedback
Residents in the control group received informal feedback as they performed the initial laparoscopic cholecystectomy in the operating room. This was left up to the discretion of the staff surgeon supervising the operation. This corresponds to the routine teaching and feedback practices that occur during conventional surgical residency training


Ages Eligible for Study:   Child, Adult, Senior
Sexes Eligible for Study:   All
Accepts Healthy Volunteers:   Yes

Inclusion Criteria:

  • post graduate year 1 and 2 surgical residents
  • performed less than 10 laparoscopic cholecystectomies as the primary surgeon

Exclusion Criteria:

  Contacts and Locations
Choosing to participate in a study is an important personal decision. Talk with your doctor and family members or friends about deciding to join a study. To learn more about this study, you or your doctor may contact the study research staff using the Contacts provided below. For general information, see Learn About Clinical Studies.

Please refer to this study by its identifier: NCT01753947

Canada, Ontario
University of Toronto
Toronto, Ontario, Canada
Sponsors and Collaborators
St. Michael's Hospital, Toronto
Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada
  More Information

Responsible Party: St. Michael's Hospital, Toronto Identifier: NCT01753947     History of Changes
Other Study ID Numbers: Deliberate Practice
Study First Received: December 7, 2012
Last Updated: December 17, 2012 processed this record on September 21, 2017