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To investigate the effectiveness and usability of automated procedural guidance during virtual temporal bone surgery.
Two randomised controlled trials were performed to evaluate the effectiveness, for medical students, of two presentation modalities of automated real-time procedural guidance in virtual reality simulation: full and step-by-step visual presentation of drillable areas. Presentation modality effectiveness was determined through a comparison of participants’ dissection quality, evaluated by a blinded otologist, using a validated assessment scale.
While the provision of automated guidance on procedure improved performance (full presentation, p = 0.03; step-by-step presentation, p < 0.001), usage of the two different presentation modalities was vastly different (full presentation, 3.73 per cent; step-by-step presentation, 60.40 per cent).
Automated procedural guidance in virtual temporal bone surgery is effective in improving trainee performance. Step-by-step presentation of procedural guidance was engaging, and therefore more likely to be used by the participants.
To investigate the importance of anatomical variation in acquiring skills in virtual reality cochlear implant surgery.
Eleven otolaryngology residents participated in this study. They were randomly allocated to practice cochlear implant surgery on the same specimen or on different specimens for four weeks. They were then tested on two new specimens, one standard and one challenging. Videos of their performance were de-identified and reviewed independently, by two blinded consultant otolaryngologists, using a validated assessment scale. The scores were compared between groups.
On the standard specimen, the round window preparation score was 2.7 ± 0.4 for the experimental group and 1.7 ± 0.6 for the control group (p = 0.01). On the challenging specimen, instrument handling and facial nerve preservation scores of the experimental group were 3.0 ± 0.4 and 3.5 ± 0.7 respectively, while the control group received scores of 2.1 ± 0.8 and 2.4 ± 0.9 respectively (p < 0.05).
Training on temporal bones with differing anatomies is beneficial in the development of expertise.
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