The Gastrointestinal (GI) Mentor is a virtual reality simulator that uses force feedback technology to create a realistic training experience.
Dr Jonathan Cohen and colleagues from Texas defined the benefit of training on the GI Mentor on competency acquisition in colonoscopy.
The research team conducted a randomized, controlled, blinded, multicenter trial in academic medical centers with accredited gastroenterology training programs.
The patients were first-year GI fellow.
Subjects were randomized to receive 10 hours of unsupervised training on the GI Mentor or no simulator experience during the first 8 weeks of fellowship.
After this period, both groups began performing real colonoscopies.
Proctors graded the first 200 colonoscopies performed by each fellow.
The research team measured technical and cognitive success, and patient comfort level during the procedure.
|Fellows in the simulator group had higher competency rates in the first 100 cases|
The team used a mixed-effects model comparison between the 2 groups with objective and subjective competency scores.
Patient discomfort in the performance of real colonoscopies over time was also assessed.
The researchers randomized 45 fellows from 16 hospitals over 2 years.
The team found that fellows in the simulator group had significantly higher objective competency rates during the first 100 cases.
A mixed-effects model demonstrated a higher objective competence overall in the simulator group.
The researchers noted that the difference between groups was significantly greater during the first 80 cases performed.
The median number of cases needed to reach 90% competency was 160 in both groups.
The team observed that the patient comfort level was similar.
Dr Cohen's team concludes, “Fellows who underwent GI Mentor training performed significantly better during the early phase of real colonoscopy training.”