Background & aims: Computer-based endoscopy simulator (CBES) training's impact on patient-based outcomes has never been examined. This study examines whether the endoscopy skills of trainees are improved and patient discomfort is reduced as a result of CBES training.
Methods: From July 2001-June 2002, 38 residents received either 1 week of patient-based training (PBT) alone in flexible sigmoidoscopy (FS) or 3 hours of simulator-based training (SBT) before a week of training in FS. Patients completed questionnaires grading the discomfort experienced during endoscopy (1, no pain; 10, worst pain of life). In addition, residents' performance was graded by the supervising staff and themselves with 8 performance parameters by using a 1-10 Likert scale (1, strongly agree; 5, neutral; 10, strongly disagree).
Results: Nineteen SBT and 19 PBT residents performed 150 and 175 FS, respectively. During this same period, staff completed 585 FS. The median patient discomfort score for SBT residents was significantly less than for PBT residents, 3 (25%-75% interquartile range [IQR], 2-5) vs. 4 (IQR, 2-6) (P < 0.01). Discomfort scores for both resident groups were significantly greater than those recorded by staff endoscopists, 2 (IQR, 1-4) (P < 0.01). No difference was seen in the residents' procedural skill scores. Resident self-evaluation scores were significantly greater than those received from the supervising staff.
Conclusions: Increased patient comfort resulted from simulation training, demonstrating that CBES training has a direct benefit to the patient. Although no measurable impact on residents' performance skills was observed, we do demonstrate that residents perceive themselves as having acquired greater endoscopic skills in contrast to staff evaluations.