The utilization of surgical simulation continues to grow in medical training. The TouchSurgery application (app) is a new interactive virtual reality smartphone- or tablet-based app that offers a step-by-step tutorial and simulation for the execution of various operations. The purpose of this study was to compare the efficacy of the app versus traditional teaching modalities utilizing the “Carpal Tunnel Surgery” module. We hypothesized that users of the app would score higher than those using the traditional education medium indicating higher understanding of the steps of surgery.
A total of 100 medical students were recruited to participate. The control group (n = 50) consisted of students learning about carpal tunnel release surgery using a video lecture utilizing slides. The study group (n = 50) consisted of students learning the procedure through the app. The content covered was identical in both groups but delivered through the different mediums. Outcome measures included comparison of test scores and overall app satisfaction.
Test scores in the study group (89.3%) using the app were significantly higher than those in the control group (75.6%). Students in the study group rated the overall content validity, quality of graphics, ease of use, and usefulness to surgery preparation as very high (4.8 of 5).
Students utilizing the app performed better on a standardized test examining the steps of a carpal tunnel release than those using a traditional teaching modality. The study findings lend support for the use of the app for medical students to prepare for and learn the steps for various surgical procedures.
This study provides useful information on surgical simulation, which can be utilized to educate trainees for new procedures.
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Published online: March 18, 2017
Accepted: February 10, 2017
Received: April 18, 2016
No benefits in any form have been received or will be received related directly or indirectly to the subject of this article.
This study was performed at the Temple University School of Medicine and the Rothman Institute at the Thomas Jefferson University, Philadelphia, PA.
© 2017 by the American Society for Surgery of the Hand. All rights reserved.