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14.04.2017 | Ausgabe 11/2017

Surgical Endoscopy 11/2017

Attainment and retention of force moderation following laparoscopic resection training with visual force feedback

Zeitschrift:
Surgical Endoscopy > Ausgabe 11/2017
Autoren:
Rafael Hernandez, Arzu Onar-Thomas, Francesco Travascio, Shihab Asfour

Abstract

Background

Laparoscopic training with visual force feedback can lead to immediate improvements in force moderation. However, the long-term retention of this kind of learning and its potential decay are yet unclear.

Methods

A laparoscopic resection task and force sensing apparatus were designed to assess the benefits of visual force feedback training. Twenty-two male university students with no previous experience in laparoscopy underwent relevant FLS proficiency training. Participants were randomly assigned to either a control or treatment group. Both groups trained on the task for 2 weeks as follows: initial baseline, sixteen training trials, and post-test immediately after. The treatment group had visual force feedback during training, whereas the control group did not. Participants then performed four weekly test trials to assess long-term retention of training. Outcomes recorded were maximum pulling and pushing forces, completion time, and rated task difficulty.

Results

Extreme maximum pulling force values were tapered throughout both the training and retention periods. Average maximum pushing forces were significantly lowered towards the end of training and during retention period. No significant decay of applied force learning was found during the 4-week retention period. Completion time and rated task difficulty were higher during training, but results indicate that the difference eventually fades during the retention period. Significant differences in aptitude across participants were found.

Conclusions

Visual force feedback training improves on certain aspects of force moderation in a laparoscopic resection task. Results suggest that with enough training there is no significant decay of learning within the first month of the retention period. It is essential to account for differences in aptitude between individuals in this type of longitudinal research. This study shows how an inexpensive force measuring system can be used with an FLS Trainer System after some retrofitting. Surgical instructors can develop their own tasks and adjust force feedback levels accordingly.

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