British researchers have compared a virtual reality (VR) arthroscopy simulator with a benchtop (BT) arthroscopy simulator and found that both simulators delivered improvements in arthroscopic skills. However, BT training led to skills that readily transferred to the VR simulator, whereas skills acquired after VR training did not transfer as readily to the BT simulator. “Despite trainees receiving automated metric feedback from the VR simulator, the results suggest a greater gain in psychomotor skills for BT training,” the authors conclude. “Further work is required to determine if this finding persists in the operating room.”
Middleton RM, Alvand A, Garfjeld Roberts P, Hargrove C, Kirby G, Rees JL. Simulation-Based Training Platforms for Arthroscopy: A Randomized Comparison of Virtual Reality Learning to Benchtop Learning. Arthroscopy. 2017 Jan 7. pii: S0749-8063(16)30893-3. doi:10.1016/j.arthro.2016.10.021.