Journal of Surgical Simulation 2017; 4: B: 6 - 6
Published: 11 May 2017
Special Issue: How should surgeons warm up? An experimental psychology approach
There is increasing evidencing that preparing surgeons to operate, through a systematic standardised preoperative routine, may improve operative performance and patient outcomes. However, our understanding of the mechanisms by which this performance facilitation occurs and how to optimise preparation for surgery, remains unclear. Here, we use methods from experimental psychology to address this question. Specifically, we report data from a laboratory-based randomised, controlled cross-over trial designed to determine the effect of different preparatory routines on surgical performance. In these experiments, participants completed a novel sequence learning task (SLT) designed to be analogous to the demands of recalling the sequence of steps needed to perform a complex surgical procedure. We used a between subjects experimental design to compare distinctly different preparation routines (systematically varying the extent to which they provided task-relevant spatial and visual information) for their influence on performance in the SLT. The data indicate that the type of preparation modulates task performance and that the extent of performance facilitation is related to the visual and spatial strategies employed by participants in completing the task. Further research is underway to understand how these findings can be transferred to the operating theatre.
operative performance; warm up; preparation; routine; experimental psychology; patient outcome
This presentation was given at the one day symposium, Current Approaches to Understanding Surgical Error, University of Leeds, Leeds, UK, on 9 December 2016.
Conflicts of interest: none declared.
T W Pike: Department of HB and Transplant Surgery, St James's University Hospital, Leeds, UK & School of Psychology, Faculty of Medicine and Health, University of Leeds, Leeds UK
F Mushtaq: School of Psychology, Faculty of Medicine and Health, University of Leeds, Leeds, UK
R M Wilkie: School of Psychology, Faculty of Medicine and Health, University of Leeds, Leeds, UK
J P A Lodge: Department of HB and Transplant Surgery, St James's University Hospital, Leeds, UK
M Mon-Williams: School of Psychology, Faculty of Medicine and Health, University of Leeds, Leeds, UK