Laparoscopic simulation training in gynaecology: Current provision and staff attitudes – a cross-sectional survey
The objectives of this study were to explore current provision of laparoscopic simulation training, and to determine attitudes of trainers and trainees to the role of simulators in surgical training across the UK. An anonymous cross-sectional survey with cluster sampling was developed and circulated. All Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists (RCOG) Training Programme Directors (TPD), College Tutors (RCT) and Trainee representatives (TR) across the UK were invited to participate. One hundred and ninety-six obstetricians and gynaecologists participated. Sixty-three percent of hospitals had at least one box trainer, and 14.6% had least one virtual-reality simulator. Only 9.3% and 3.6% stated that trainees used a structured curriculum on box and virtual-reality simulators, respectively. Respondents working in a Large/Teaching hospital (p = 0.008) were more likely to agree that simulators enhance surgical training. Eighty-nine percent agreed that simulators improve the quality of training, and should be mandatory or desirable for junior trainees. Consultants (p = 0.003) and respondents over 40 years (p = 0.011) were more likely to hold that a simulation test should be undertaken before live operation. Our data demonstrated, therefore, that availability of laparoscopic simulators is inconsistent, with limited use of mandatory structured curricula. In contrast, both trainers and trainees recognise a need for greater use of laparoscopic simulation for surgical training.