Background Studies have postulated the extent of video gaming exposure and the correlation with surgical skills acquisition and visuospatial awareness. No study has examined the link between extent of video-gaming and performance on a orthopaedic trauma simulator.
Objectives To assess whether video-gaming improves performance on a virtual-reality (VR) dynamic hip screw (DHS) fixation for an extra capsular fracture of the left neck of femur.
Methodology 38 medical students, naïve to VR surgical simulation, were recruited and stratified according to their exposure to video gaming. Group 1 (n = 19, video-gamers) were defined as those who play more than one hour per day in the last year, Group 2 (n = 19, non-gamers) were defined as those who play video games less than one hour per year. Both cohorts performed five attempts on completing a VR DHS and repeated the task after a week. The VR simulator recorded six real-time objective performance metrics. Mean scores were calculated and Mann-Whitney U tests were used to calculate significance (p < 0.05).
Results The groups were not significantly different at baseline indicating heterogenous populations to minimise selection bias. After ten attempts, Group 1 were not significantly better than Group 2 in time, fluoroscopy, number of radiographs, number of retries, tip-apex distance, percentage cut-out, and global score.
Conclusions Contrary to previous findings in literature, there was no difference between those with extensive video gaming experience and those without similar gaming exposure in regards to gaining competency on a VR orthopaedic trauma simulator. This is the first study to document there being no advantage of playing video games in order to achieve competency on this VR DHS simulator. This study showed that the VR application will neither be affected by previous hand-eye coordination practice nor is there a transferability of generic skills from video-gaming to the VR DHS simulator.
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Froelich JM, Milbrandt JC, Novicoff WM, et al. Surgical simulators and hip fractures: a role in residency training? J Surg Educ 2011;68(4):298–302
- Category: Course or curriculum evaluation/innovation/integration
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