In this study, researchers from Italy compared the efficacy of a computer-based simulator for training in upper endoscopy in a clinical setting.
The team randomly assigned 22 fellows with no experience in endoscopy to 1 of 2 groups. The first group underwent 10 hours of preclinical training with a computer-based simulator, while the second group did not.
Each trainee then performed upper endoscopy in 19 to 20 patients.
The team measured esophageal intubation, procedure duration and completeness, and request for assistance. The trainees were also evaluated by the endoscopy instructor.
A total of 420 upper endoscopies were performed.
The researchers found that trainees in group 1 performed more complete procedures (88% versus 70%) and required less assistance (41% versus 98%) than trainees in group 2.
The length of procedures was comparable for the 2 groups.
Dr Emilio Di Giulio and colleagues concluded, "The computer-based simulator is effective in providing novice trainees with the skills needed for identification of anatomical landmarks and basic endoscopic maneuvers, and in reducing the need for assistance by instructors".