Research priorities in surgical simulation for the 21st century

Am J Surg. 2012 Jan;203(1):49-53. doi: 10.1016/j.amjsurg.2011.05.008.


Background: Despite tremendous growth, research in surgical simulation remains uncoordinated and unfocused. The objective of this study was to develop research priorities for surgical simulation.

Methods: By using a systematic methodology (Delphi), members of the Association for Surgical Education submitted 5 research questions on surgical simulation. An expert review panel categorized and collapsed the submitted questions and redistributed them to the membership to be ranked using a priority scale from 1 (lowest) to 5 (highest). The results were analyzed and categorized by consensus in distinct topics.

Results: Sixty members submitted 226 research questions that were reduced to 74. Ratings ranged from 2.19 to 4.78. Topics included simulation effectiveness and outcomes, performance assessment and credentialing, curriculum development, team training and nontechnical skills, simulation center resources and personnel, simulator validation, and other. The highest ranked question was, "Does simulation training lead to improved quality of patient care, patient outcomes, and safety?".

Conclusions: Research priorities for surgical simulation were developed using a systematic methodology and can be used to focus surgical simulation research in areas most likely to advance the field.

MeSH terms

  • Biomedical Research*
  • Computer Simulation*
  • Consensus
  • Data Collection
  • Delphi Technique
  • Humans
  • Patient Simulation*
  • Quality Assurance, Health Care
  • Research*
  • Surgical Procedures, Operative*
  • United States