In children, video game experience improves spatial performance, a predictor of surgical performance. This study aims at comparing laparoscopic virtual reality (VR) task performance of children with different levels of experience in video games and residents.
PARTICIPANTS AND METHODS:
A total of 32 children (8.4 to 12.1 years), 20 residents, and 14 board-certified surgeons (total n = 66) performed several VR and 2 conventional tasks (cube/spatial and pegboard/fine motor). Performance between the groups was compared (primary outcome). VR performance was correlated with conventional task performance (secondary outcome).
Lowest VR performance was found in children with low video game experience, followed by those with high video game experience, residents, and board-certified surgeons. VR performance correlated well with the spatial test and moderately with the fine motor test.
The use of computer games can be considered not only as pure entertainment but may also contribute to the development of skills relevant for adequate performance in VR laparoscopic tasks. Spatial skills are relevant for VR laparoscopic task performance.