Background: The eoSim® laparoscopic augmented reality (AR) simulator has instrument tracking capabilities that may be suitable for implementation in laparoscopic training. The objective is to assess face, content, and construct validity of this simulator for basic laparoscopic skills training. Methods: Participants were divided into three groups: novices (no training), intermediates (<50 laparoscopic procedures), and experts (>50 laparoscopic procedures). Three basic tasks were completed on the simulator: thread transfer (1), cyst dissection (2), and tube ligation (3). A questionnaire was completed on realism, didactic value, and usability of the simulator. Measured outcome parameters were as follows: time, distance, time off screen, average speed, acceleration, and smoothness. Results: Mean ± standard deviation scores on realism were positive (Task 1 or T1; 3.9 ± 0.7, P = .13, T2; 3.7 ± 0.7, P = .07, T3; 3.7 ± 0.07), as well as didactic value (T1; 3.9 ± 0.8, P = .71, T2; 3.9 ± 0.8, P = .31, T3; 4.0 ± 0.8, P = .40). Usability was valued the highest, with mean scores between 3.9 and 4.3 (T1; P = .71, T2; P = .80, T3; P = .85). Scores did not differ significantly between groups. Experts were significantly faster (Task 1; P < .001, Task 2; P = .042, Task 3: P < .001) with higher handling speed for tasks 2 and 3 (Task 1; P = .20, task 2; P = .034, task 3; P = .049). Results for other outcome parameters also indicated experts had better instrument control and efficiency than novices, although these differences did not reach statistical significance. Conclusions: The eoSim laparoscopic AR simulator is regarded as a realistic, accessible, and useful tool for the training of basic laparoscopic skills, with good face validity. Construct validity of the eoSim AR simulator was demonstrated on several core variables, but not all.
Keywords: laparoscopy training; simulation; validity.