Does Training with Nintendo Wii Console Improve Laparoscopic Skills in Medical Students: a Randomized Controlled Study
Physicians in training must choose a career path at the end of their third year of medical school. This is often a difficult decision, especially when students are considering surgical specialties as they are often merely observers in the operating room. This lack of hands-on experience is especially true in laparoscopic surgery, where it is particularly difficult to guide novices through a procedure. Laparoscopic surgery involves performing the same procedures that would normally require a large incision through several smaller incisions. For instance, hysterectomy usually requires a relatively large incision, of approximately 10 to 12cm. To perform this same procedure laparoscopically, 3 to 4 small incisions of approximately 0.5cm are used to allow instruments access to the pelvic cavity. This provides a number of benefits for the patient, but is technically more difficult for the surgeon. Because this type of surgery is more difficult, medical students are rarely used as assistants. However, medical students have a depth of knowledge that, combined with specific skills, could be utilized. Presently, acquisition and evaluation of surgical skills for laparoscopy has been performed in specially developed trainers, which are expensive and require that the trainee go to a lab where the equipment is located to practice. We propose that there may be a simpler and less expensive way for medical students to gain the basic skills to prepare them to serve as assistants in laparoscopic cases and provide them with some insight regarding their surgical aptitude. It has been noted that video gamers have certain psychomotor skills that, with refinement, might be useful in laparoscopic surgery. This may be particularly true for certain games developed by Nintendo for the Wii console, in which the physical movements of the player actually correspond to the same action on the screen. Recently, Kahol et al. showed that surgical residents performed better on virtual reality laparoscopic tasks after training with the Wii console. This initial study described a novel acrylic stand which couples with the Wii hand piece to better simulate the fulcrum effect of a laparoscopic instrument which is fixed in place where it enters the pelvis through one of the small incisions. The Wii console may be an inexpensive and more convenient way for medical students to train and gain insight as to their surgical aptitude. We propose that playing the Wii games using our novel stand may improve medical student laparoscopic skills, reducing or eliminating the training time necessary to make a student a productive member of an operating team.
30 Nov -0001
Health Care Foundation
Strategic Research Theme
Community and Regional Development
Well-being, Health and Biomedical Discovery