Background: Simulation-based training assumes that skills are directly transferable to the patient-based setting, but few studies have correlated simulated performance with surgical performance.
Methods: A systematic search strategy was undertaken to find studies published since the last systematic review, published in 2007. Inclusion of articles was determined using a predetermined protocol, independent assessment by two reviewers and a final consensus decision. Studies that reported on the use of surgical simulation-based training and assessed the transferability of the acquired skills to a patient-based setting were included.
Results: Twenty-seven randomized clinical trials and seven non-randomized comparative studies were included. Fourteen studies investigated laparoscopic procedures, 13 endoscopic procedures and seven other procedures. These studies provided strong evidence that participants who reached proficiency in simulation-based training performed better in the patient-based setting than their counterparts who did not have simulation-based training. Simulation-based training was equally as effective as patient-based training for colonoscopy, laparoscopic camera navigation and endoscopic sinus surgery in the patient-based setting.
Conclusion: These studies strengthen the evidence that simulation-based training, as part of a structured programme and incorporating predetermined proficiency levels, results in skills transfer to the operative setting.
© 2014 BJS Society Ltd. Published by John Wiley & Sons Ltd.