Play to Become a Surgeon: Impact of Nintendo WII Training on Laparoscopic Skills

Giannotti, Domenico; Patrizi, Gregorio; Di Rocco, Giorgio; Vestri, Anna Rita; Semproni, Camilla Proietti; Fiengo, Leslie; Pontone, Stefano; Palazzini, Giorgio; Redler, Adriano
February 2013
PLoS ONE;Feb2013, Vol. 8 Issue 2, p1
Academic Journal
Background: Video-games have become an integral part of the new multimedia culture. Several studies assessed video-gaming enhancement of spatial attention and eye-hand coordination. Considering the technical difficulty of laparoscopic procedures, legal issues and time limitations, the validation of appropriate training even outside of the operating rooms is ongoing. We investigated the influence of a four-week structured Nintendo® Wii™ training on laparoscopic skills by analyzing performance metrics with a validated simulator (Lap Mentor™, Simbionix™). Methodology/Principal Findings: We performed a prospective randomized study on 42 post-graduate I–II year residents in General, Vascular and Endoscopic Surgery. All participants were tested on a validated laparoscopic simulator and then randomized to group 1 (Controls, no training with the Nintendo® Wii™), and group 2 (training with the Nintendo® Wii™) with 21 subjects in each group, according to a computer-generated list. After four weeks, all residents underwent a testing session on the laparoscopic simulator of the same tasks as in the first session. All 42 subjects in both groups improved significantly from session 1 to session 2. Compared to controls, the Wii group showed a significant improvement in performance (p<0.05) for 13 of the 16 considered performance metrics. Conclusions/Significance: The Nintendo® Wii™ might be helpful, inexpensive and entertaining part of the training of young laparoscopists, in addition to a standard surgical education based on simulators and the operating room.


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