Introduction Currently there is little evidence on the role of virtual reality (VR) simulators for orthopaedic trauma simulation due to lack of validated commercially available platforms. We determined face validity and acceptability of the only VR haptic-enabled DHS fixation simulator as a potential training tool.
Methods 52 medical students (naïve to both DHS fixation and VR simulation) were voluntarily recruited and electronically randomised to two groups. Group 1 (training) performed five attempts whilst Group 2 (control) performed one attempt. After a week, both groups repeated the same number of attempts. Participants then filled in an eight-item questionnaire using a seven-point Likert scale (1–7). The mean score and Mann-Whitney U-test for significance (p < 0.05) were calculated.
Results No significant difference was found between both cohorts in all questionnaire responses, thus data was pooled and analysed as a unified cohort. Participants agreed that visual appearance of the external surgical field was realistic (mean score 4.8 [68.6%]) and that the haptic feedback was realistic (mean score 5.7 [81.4%]). The simulator was moderately accepted as an unthreatening learning environment (mean score 6.4 [91.4%]), subjects recognised the VR DHS simulator as a useful training tool (mean score 6.3 [90.0%]) and would recommend this modality to colleagues (mean score 6.3 [90%]). Moreover, participants strongly agreed that they enjoyed using the simulator (mean score 6.5 [92.9%]), that they would like to practise on a simulator before operating on a patient (mean score 6.5 [92.9%]) and they would like to train further on the simulator (mean score 6.5 [92.9%]).
Conclusions The simulator was well received and participants moderately agreed that the VR DHS simulator would be a useful training tool and would recommend it to their colleagues. There was an overwhelming and unanimous demand among medical students and future surgeons for VR simulation technology in formal orthopaedic training.
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- Category: Course or curriculum evaluation/innovation/integration
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