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The Capital Region of Denmark - a part of Copenhagen University Hospital

Virtual reality simulator metrics cannot be used to assess competence in ureteronephroscopy and stone removal - a validation study

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OBJECTIVE: The growing use of simulation-based training makes it necessary to develop efficient training programs in order to ensure optimal use of time and resources. Our aim was to develop and gather validity evidence for a simulation-based test in ureteronephroscopy and set a pass/fail standard for the test that will allow future mastery learning.

DESIGN: This study is a validation study. A test in ureteronephroscopy and stone removal on the URO Mentor™ virtual reality simulator (3D Systems, USA) was developed by two experienced urologists in order to ensure content. Participants with different experience completed three standardized tasks on the simulator and simulator-generated metrics were used as outcome parameters to minimize bias and ensure a fair response process.

RESULTS: Twenty novices, 15 intermediates, and 8 experienced urologists were included in the study. Validity evidence for internal structure and relationship to other variables was questionable with weak and mostly insignificant correlations across all four metrics (Cronbach's alpha = 0.14, p = 0.15) and across the three modules (Cronbach's alpha = 0.41 (p = 0.02), 0.35 (p = 0.06), 0.10 (p = 0.35), and 0.30 (p = 0.09) for each metric, respectively). It was not possible to establish a pass/fail score for the simulation test with meaningful consequences.

CONCLUSION: Our study showed that automatically generated simulator metrics cannot be used as a valid way of assessing competence in ureteronephroscopy. Virtual-reality simulator training could still be a valuable and patient-safe way to practice these skills, but an experienced supervisor is needed to determine when the trainee is ready to continue to supervised practice on patients.

Original languageEnglish
JournalScandinavian Journal of Urology
Issue number5
Pages (from-to)399-403
Number of pages5
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2021

    Research areas

  • Ureteroscopy, medical education, urology urolithiasis, virtual reality

ID: 66958403