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Impact of a simulation training curriculum on technical and nontechnical skills in colonoscopy: a randomized trial

      Background

      GI endoscopy simulation-based training augments early clinical performance; however, the optimal manner by which to deliver training is unknown.

      Objective

      We aimed to validate a simulation-based structured comprehensive curriculum (SCC) designed to teach technical, cognitive, and integrative competencies in colonoscopy.

      Design

      Single-blinded, randomized, controlled trial.

      Setting

      Endoscopic simulation course at an academic hospital.

      Participants and Interventions

      Thirty-three novice endoscopists were allocated to an SCC group or self-regulated learning (SRL) group. The SCC group received a curriculum consisting of 6 hours of didactic lectures and 8 hours of virtual reality simulation-based training with expert feedback. The SRL group was provided a list of desired objectives and was instructed to practice on the simulator for an equivalent time (8 hours).

      Main Outcome Measurements

      Clinical transfer was assessed during 2 patient colonoscopies using the Joint Advisory Group Direct Observation of Procedural Skills (JAG DOPS) scale. Secondary outcome measures included differences in procedural knowledge, immediate post-training simulation performance, and delayed post-training (4-6 weeks) performance during an integrated scenario test on the JAG DOPS communication and integrated scenario global rating scales.

      Results

      There was no significant difference in baseline or post-training performance on the simulator task. The SCC group performed superiorly during their first and second clinical colonoscopies. Additionally, the SCC group demonstrated significantly better knowledge and colonoscopy-specific performance, communication, and global performance during the integrated scenario.

      Limitations

      We were unable to measure SRL participants’ effort outside of mandatory training. In addition, feedback metrics and number of available simulation cases are limited.

      Conclusions

      These results support integration of endoscopy simulation into a structured curriculum incorporating instructional feedback and complementary didactic knowledge as a means to augment technical, cognitive, and integrative skills acquisition, as compared with SRL on virtual reality simulators. (Clinical trial registration number: NCT01991522.)

      Abbreviations:

      ANOVA (analysis of variance), JAG DOPS (Joint Advisory Group Direct Observation of Procedural Skills), SCC (structured comprehensive curriculum), SRL (self-regulated learning)
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