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Relationships among video gaming proficiency and spatial orientation, laparoscopic, and traditional surgical skills of third-year veterinary students

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  • 1 Department of Veterinary Clinical Sciences, College of Veterinary Medicine, Purdue University, West Lafayette, IN 47907
  • | 2 Department of Veterinary Clinical Sciences, College of Veterinary Medicine, Purdue University, West Lafayette, IN 47907
  • | 3 Department of Veterinary Clinical Sciences, College of Veterinary Medicine, Purdue University, West Lafayette, IN 47907
  • | 4 Department of Veterinary Clinical Sciences, College of Veterinary Medicine, Purdue University, West Lafayette, IN 47907

Abstract

Objective—To determine the relationships among traditional and laparoscopic surgical skills, spatial analysis skills, and video gaming proficiency of third-year veterinary students.

Design—Prospective, randomized, controlled study.

Sample—A convenience sample of 29 third-year veterinary students.

Procedures—The students had completed basic surgical skills training with inanimate objects but had no experience with soft tissue, orthopedic, or laparoscopic surgery; the spatial analysis test; or the video games that were used in the study. Scores for traditional surgical, laparoscopic, spatial analysis, and video gaming skills were determined, and associations among these were analyzed by means of Spearman's rank order correlation coefficient (rs).

Results—A significant positive association (rs = 0.40) was detected between summary scores for video game performance and laparoscopic skills, but not between video game performance and traditional surgical skills scores. Spatial analysis scores were positively (rs = 0.30) associated with video game performance scores; however, that result was not significant. Spatial analysis scores were not significantly associated with laparoscopic surgical skills scores. Traditional surgical skills scores were not significantly associated with laparoscopic skills or spatial analysis scores.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Results of this study indicated video game performance of third-year veterinary students was predictive of laparoscopic but not traditional surgical skills, suggesting that laparoscopic performance may be improved with video gaming experience. Additional studies would be required to identify methods for improvement of traditional surgical skills.

Abstract

Objective—To determine the relationships among traditional and laparoscopic surgical skills, spatial analysis skills, and video gaming proficiency of third-year veterinary students.

Design—Prospective, randomized, controlled study.

Sample—A convenience sample of 29 third-year veterinary students.

Procedures—The students had completed basic surgical skills training with inanimate objects but had no experience with soft tissue, orthopedic, or laparoscopic surgery; the spatial analysis test; or the video games that were used in the study. Scores for traditional surgical, laparoscopic, spatial analysis, and video gaming skills were determined, and associations among these were analyzed by means of Spearman's rank order correlation coefficient (rs).

Results—A significant positive association (rs = 0.40) was detected between summary scores for video game performance and laparoscopic skills, but not between video game performance and traditional surgical skills scores. Spatial analysis scores were positively (rs = 0.30) associated with video game performance scores; however, that result was not significant. Spatial analysis scores were not significantly associated with laparoscopic surgical skills scores. Traditional surgical skills scores were not significantly associated with laparoscopic skills or spatial analysis scores.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Results of this study indicated video game performance of third-year veterinary students was predictive of laparoscopic but not traditional surgical skills, suggesting that laparoscopic performance may be improved with video gaming experience. Additional studies would be required to identify methods for improvement of traditional surgical skills.

Contributor Notes

None of the authors have any conflicts of interest that could inappropriately influence or bias the content of the paper.

Presented as a podium presentation at the 10th Annual Veterinary Endoscopy Society Scientific Meeting, Key Largo, Fla, May 2013.

The authors thank Marianne D'Altilio, Jolene Knuth, Cassandra Simmons, Dr. Natalia Soto, and Dr. Jonathan Stack for help in data acquisition.

Address correspondence to Dr. Towle Millard (towle@purdue.edu).