Comprehensive proficiency-Based inanimate training for robotic surgery: Reliability, feasibility, and educational benefit

Nabeel A. Arain, Genevieve Dulan, Deborah C. Hogg, Robert V Rege, Cathryn E. Powers, Seifu T. Tesfay, Linda S Hynan, Daniel J Scott

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

37 Scopus citations


Background: We previously developed a comprehensive proficiency-based robotic training curriculum demonstrating construct, content, and face validity. This study aimed to assess reliability, feasibility, and educational benefit associated with curricular implementation. Methods: Over an 11-month period, 55 residents, fellows, and faculty (robotic novices) from general surgery, urology, and gynecology were enrolled in a 2-month curriculum: online didactics, half-day hands-on tutorial, and self-practice using nine inanimate exercises. Each trainee completed a questionnaire and performed a single proctored repetition of each task before (pretest) and after (posttest) training. Tasks were scored for time and errors using modified FLS metrics. For inter-rater reliability (IRR), three trainees were scored by two raters and analyzed using intraclass correlation coefficients (ICC). Data from eight experts were analyzed using ICC and Cronbach's a to determine test-retest reliability and internal consistency, respectively. Educational benefit was assessed by comparing baseline (pretest) and final (post-test) trainee performance; comparisons used Wilcoxon signed-rank test. Results: Of the 55 trainees that pretested, 53 (96 %) completed all curricular components in 9-17 h and reached proficiency after completing an average of 72 ± 28 repetitions over 5 ± 1 h. Trainees indicated minimal prior robotic experience and "poor comfort" with robotic skills at baseline (1.8 ± 0.9) compared to final testing (3.1 ± 0.8, p<0.001). IRR data for the composite score revealed an ICC of 0.96 (p<0.001). Test-retest reliability was 0.91 (p<0.001) and internal consistency was 0.81. Performance improved significantly after training for all nine tasks and according to composite scores (548 ± 176 vs. 914 ± 81, p<0.001), demonstrating educational benefit. Conclusion: This curriculum is associated with high reliability measures, demonstrated feasibility for a large cohort of trainees, and yielded significant educational benefit. Further studies and adoption of this curriculum are encouraged.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2740-2745
Number of pages6
JournalSurgical endoscopy
Issue number10
StatePublished - Oct 2012


  • Curriculum development and implementation
  • Proficiency-based training
  • Reliability
  • Robotic skills training
  • Robotic surgery
  • Simulation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery


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