BACKGROUND AND PURPOSE: Simulation-based training in medical education is increasing. Realism is an integral element of creating an engaging, effective training environment. Although physical trainers offer a low-cost alternative to expensive virtual reality (VR) simulators, many lack in realism. The aim of this research was to enhance the realism of a laparoscopic box trainer by using a simple, inexpensive method.
MATERIALS AND METHODS: Digital images of the abdominal cavity were captured from a VR simulator. The images were printed onto a laminated card that lined the bottom and sides of the box-trainer cavity. The standard black neoprene material that encloses the abdominal cavity was replaced with a skin-colored silicon model.
RESULTS AND CONCLUSIONS: The realism of the modified box trainer was assessed by surgeons, using quantitative and qualitative methodologies. Results suggest that the modified box trainer was more realistic than a standard box trainer alone. Incorporating this technique in the training of laparoscopic skills is an inexpensive means of emulating surgical reality that may enhance the engagement of the learner in simulation.
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