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The role of smartphone game applications in improving laparoscopic skills

Authors Chalhoub M, Khazzaka A, Sarkis R, Sleiman Z

Received 22 March 2018

Accepted for publication 23 May 2018

Published 3 August 2018 Volume 2018:9 Pages 541—547


Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single anonymous peer review

Peer reviewer comments 3

Editor who approved publication: Dr Md Anwarul Majumder

Marc Chalhoub,1 Aline Khazzaka,1 Riad Sarkis,1 Zaki Sleiman2,3

1Laboratory of Science and Research, Saint Joseph University, Beirut, Lebanon; 2Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Lebanese American University Medical Center, Beirut, Lebanon; 3The European Academy for Gynecological Surgery, Leuven, Belgium

Background: Virtual games (VGs) have a positive impact on laparoscopic skills. Time spent playing, the console and the type of game used correlate with the speed of acquisition of laparoscopic skills and their preservation.
Methods: A total of 45 university medical students with no previous surgical experience were divided into three groups: gamers (n=20), control (n=10) and intervention (n=15). They passed the laparoscopic skills testing and training model, developed by the European Academy of Gynecological Surgery, over two sessions. Every 5 intervention participants were asked to play a different smartphone application game daily for 2 months between the two sessions. Scores were calculated at both sessions and used to calculate the evolution ratio between sessions.
Results: Significant advantage was found at session 1 of gamers over non-gamers (p=0.002). No significant difference existed between the two non-gamer groups (p=0.96), or between the three intervention sub-groups (p>0.05). All participants’ performances improved between sessions. No significant difference existed in evolution between control and gamers (p=0.121), nor between intervention and gamers (p=0.189). Significant advantage was found in evolutions of the intervention group over control group (p=0.035).
Conclusion: Previous VG experience is a significant factor in showing better laparoscopic skills when virtual reality simulator is used for the first time. Recent and regular smartphone gaming practice significantly improves laparoscopic skills in non-gamers independently of the type of game practiced. Smartphone gaming practice appears to influence positively some specific laparoscopic skills more than others.

Keywords: virtual games, laparoscopic psychomotor skills, training, smartphone, dry lab

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