Background: Lack of time and access to equipment are recognised barriers to simulation training.
Aim: To investigate the effect of a take-home laparoscopic simulator training program on the laparoscopic skills of gynaecology trainees.
Method: Participants (n = 17 in 2015, n = 16 in 2016) were supplied with a box trainer, associated equipment and instructions on self-directed training. A program was designed and implemented in 2015 comprising of ten weekly laparoscopic skills tasks and modified in 2016 to eight monthly tasks. Half of the participants were randomly allocated a supervisor. Participants performed baseline and post-training assessments of laparoscopic skills in a box trainer task (thread transfer) and virtual reality simulator tasks (laparoscopic tubal ligation and bilateral oophorectomy).
Results: Trainees in 2015 demonstrated an improvement in the median time to complete the laparoscopic tubal ligation task (baseline 124 s vs post-training 91 s, P = 0.041). There was no difference in the number of tubal ligation bleeding incidents, or in the time taken to complete the box trainer thread transfer task. In 2016 trainees demonstrated improvement in tubal ligation time (baseline 251 vs 71 post-training, P = 0.021) and bilateral oophorectomy time (baseline 891 s vs 504 post-training, P = 0.025). There was no significant difference in other outcome measures. There was no difference found in performance when groups were compared by supervisor allocation.
Conclusion: A take-home box trainer simulation-training program was associated with improvement in laparoscopic skills. This type of program may improve trainee access to simulation training.
Keywords: graduate medical education [MeSH]; gynaecology; laparoscopy; operative/education [MeSH]; simulation; surgery.
© 2018 The Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists.