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Authors D'Angelo AL, Rutherford DN, Ray RD, Laufer S, Mason A, Pugh CM
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Journal Am. J. Surg. Volume: 211 Issue: 2 Pages: 445-50
Publish Date 2016 Feb
PubMed ID 26701699
PMC ID 4724457

The aim of this study was to evaluate working volume as a potential assessment metric for open surgical tasks.Surgical attendings (n = 6), residents (n = 4), and medical students (n = 5) performed a suturing task on simulated connective tissue (foam), artery (rubber balloon), and friable tissue (tissue paper). Using a motion tracking system, effective working volume was calculated for each hand. Repeated measures analysis of variance assessed differences in working volume by experience level, dominant and/or nondominant hand, and tissue type.Analysis revealed a linear relationship between experience and working volume. Attendings had the smallest working volume, and students had the largest (P = .01). The 3-way interaction of experience level, hand, and material type showed attendings and residents maintained a similar working volume for dominant and nondominant hands for all tasks. In contrast, medical students’ nondominant hand covered larger working volumes for the balloon and tissue paper materials (P < .05).This study provides validity evidence for the use of working volume as a metric for open surgical skills. Working volume may provide a means for assessing surgical efficiency and the operative learning curve.

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