Effectiveness of Immersive Virtual Reality in Surgical Training-A Randomized Control Trial.
Pulijala Y., Ma M., Pears M., Peebles D., Ayoub A.
PURPOSE: Surgical training methods are evolving with the technological advancements, including the application of virtual reality (VR) and augmented reality. However, 28 to 40% of novice residents are not confident in performing a major surgical procedure. VR surgery, an immersive VR (iVR) experience, was developed using Oculus Rift and Leap Motion devices (Leap Motion, Inc, San Francisco, CA) to address this challenge. Our iVR is a multisensory, holistic surgical training application that demonstrates a maxillofacial surgical technique, the Le Fort I osteotomy. The main objective of the present study was to evaluate the effect of using VR surgery on the self-confidence and knowledge of surgical residents. MATERIALS AND METHODS: A multisite, single-blind, parallel, randomized controlled trial (RCT) was performed. The participants were novice surgical residents with limited experience in performing the Le Fort I osteotomy. The primary outcome measures were the self-assessment scores of trainee confidence using a Likert scale and an objective assessment of the cognitive skills. Ninety-five residents from 7 dental schools were included in the RCT. The participants were randomly divided into a study group of 51 residents and a control group of 44. Participants in the study group used the VR surgery application on an Oculus Rift with Leap Motion device. The control group participants used similar content in a standard PowerPoint presentation on a laptop. Repeated measures multivariate analysis of variance was applied to the data to assess the overall effect of the intervention on the confidence of the residents. RESULTS: The study group participants showed significantly greater perceived self-confidence levels compared with those in the control group (P = .034; α = 0.05). Novices in the first year of their training showed the greatest improvement in their confidence compared with those in their second and third year. CONCLUSIONS: iVR experiences improve the knowledge and self-confidence of the surgical residents.