Proving the Effectiveness of the Fundamentals of Robotic Surgery (FRS) Skills Curriculum: A Single-blinded, Multispecialty, Multi-institutional Randomized Control Trial.
MINI: Question: Is the Fundamentals of Robotic Surgery (FRS) proficiency-based progression curriculum effective for teaching basic robotic surgery skills? FINDINGS: In an international multi-institutional, multispecialty, blinded, randomized control trial, implementation of the FRS skills curriculum using various simulation platforms led to improved performance of surgical trainees on a transfer test compared with controls.Meaning: The FRS is an effective simulation-based course for training to proficiency on basic robotic surgery skills before surgeons apply those skills clinically. OBJECTIVE: To demonstrate the noninferiority of the fundamentals of robotic surgery (FRS) skills curriculum over current training paradigms and identify an ideal training platform. SUMMARY BACKGROUND DATA: There is currently no validated, uniformly accepted curriculum for training in robotic surgery skills. METHODS: Single-blinded parallel-group randomized trial at 12 international American College of Surgeons (ACS) Accredited Education Institutes (AEI). Thirty-three robotic surgery experts and 123 inexperienced surgical trainees were enrolled between April 2015 and November 2016. Benchmarks (proficiency levels) on the 7 FRS Dome tasks were established based on expert performance. Participants were then randomly assigned to 4 training groups: Dome (n = 29), dV-Trainer (n = 30), and DVSS (n = 32) that trained to benchmarks and control (n = 32) that trained using locally available robotic skills curricula. The primary outcome was participant performance after training based on task errors and duration on 5 basic robotic tasks (knot tying, continuous suturing, cutting, dissection, and vessel coagulation) using an avian tissue model (transfer-test). Secondary outcomes included cognitive test scores, GEARS ratings, and robot familiarity checklist scores. RESULTS: All groups demonstrated significant performance improvement after skills training (P < 0.01). Participating residents and fellows performed tasks faster (DOME and DVSS groups) and with fewer errors than controls (DOME group; P < 0.01). Inter-rater reliability was high for the checklist scores (0.82-0.97) but moderate for GEARS ratings (0.40-0.67). CONCLUSIONS: We provide evidence of effectiveness for the FRS curriculum by demonstrating better performance of those trained following FRS compared with controls on a transfer test. We therefore argue for its implementation across training programs before surgeons apply these skills clinically.
Satava, RM; Stefanidis, D; Levy, JS; Smith, R; Martin, JR; Monfared, S; Timsina, LR; Darzi, AW; Moglia, A; Brand, TC; Dorin, RP; Dumon, KR; Francone, TD; Georgiou, E; Goh, AC; Marcet, JE; Martino, MA; Sudan, R; Vale, J; Gallagher, AG
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