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Virtual Interactive Surgical Skills Classroom: Protocol for a Parallel-Group, Noninferiority, Adjudicator-Blinded, Randomized Controlled Trial (VIRTUAL)

Nathan, A; Fricker, M; Patel, S; Georgi, M; Hang, MK; Asif, A; Sinha, A; ... Collins, J; + view all (2021) Virtual Interactive Surgical Skills Classroom: Protocol for a Parallel-Group, Noninferiority, Adjudicator-Blinded, Randomized Controlled Trial (VIRTUAL). JMIR Research Protocols , 10 (7) , Article e28671. 10.2196/28671. Green open access

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Abstract

BACKGROUND: Traditional face-to-face training (FFT) for basic surgical skills is inaccessible and resource-intensive. Noninteractive computer-based learning is more economical but less educationally beneficial. Virtual classroom training (VCT) is a novel method that permits distanced interactive expert instruction. VCT may optimize resources and increase accessibility. OBJECTIVE: We aim to investigate whether VCT is superior to computer-based learning and noninferior to FFT in improving proficiency in basic surgical skills. METHODS: This is a protocol for a parallel-group, noninferiority, randomized controlled trial. A sample of 72 undergraduates will be recruited from 5 medical schools in London. Participants will be stratified by subjective and objective suturing experience level and allocated to 3 intervention groups at a 1:1:1 ratio. VCT will be delivered using the BARCO weConnect software, and FFT will be provided by expert instructors. Optimal student-to-teacher ratios of 12:1 for VCT and 4:1 for FFT will be maintained. The assessed task will be interrupted suturing with hand-tied knots. RESULTS: The primary outcome will be the postintervention Objective Structured Assessment of Technical Skills score, adjudicated by 2 experts blinded to the study and adjusted for baseline proficiency. The noninferiority margin (δ) will be defined using historical data. CONCLUSIONS: This study will serve as a comprehensive appraisal of the suitability of virtual basic surgical skills classroom training as an alternative to FFT. Our findings will assist the development and implementation of further resource-efficient, accessible, virtual basic surgical skills training programs during the COVID-19 pandemic and in the future. TRIAL REGISTRATION: International Standard Randomized Controlled Trial Number ISRCTN12448098; https://www.isrctn.com/ISRCTN12448098. INTERNATIONAL REGISTERED REPORT IDENTIFIER (IRRID): PRR1-10.2196/28671.

Type: Article
Title: Virtual Interactive Surgical Skills Classroom: Protocol for a Parallel-Group, Noninferiority, Adjudicator-Blinded, Randomized Controlled Trial (VIRTUAL)
Location: Canada
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.2196/28671
Publisher version: https://doi.org/10.2196/28671
Language: English
Additional information: ©Arjun Nathan, Monty Fricker, Sonam Patel, Maria Georgi, Man Kien Hang, Aqua Asif, Amil Sinha, William Mullins, Jessie Shea, Nancy Hanna, Benjamin Lamb, John Kelly, Ashwin Sridhar, Justin Collins. Originally published in JMIR Research Protocols (https://www.researchprotocols.org). This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work, first published in JMIR Research Protocols, is properly cited. The complete bibliographic information, a link to the original publication on https://www.researchprotocols.org, as well as this copyright and license information must be included.
Keywords: digital education, digital health, education, surgery, surgical, surgical skills, surgical training, suturing, telemedicine, virtual classroom, virtual training
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Medical Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Medical Sciences > Div of Surgery and Interventional Sci
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Medical Sciences > Div of Surgery and Interventional Sci > Department of Targeted Intervention
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10131908
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