Does Extended Reality Simulation Improve Surgical/Procedural Learning and Patient Outcomes When Compared with Standard Training Methods? A Systematic Review

William J. Woodall, Eugene H. Chang, Serkan Toy, Deborah R. Lee, Jonathan H. Sherman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Introduction The use of extended reality (XR) technologies, including virtual, augmented, and mixed reality, has increased within surgical and procedural training programs. Few studies have assessed experiential learning- and patient-based outcomes using XR compared with standard training methods. Methods As a working group for the Society for Simulation in Healthcare, we used Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-Analyses guidelines and a PICO strategy to perform a systematic review of 4238 articles to assess the effectiveness of XR technologies compared with standard training methods. Outcomes were grouped into knowledge, time-to-completion, technical proficiency, reactions, and patient outcomes. Because of study heterogeneity, a meta-analysis was not feasible. Results Thirty-two studies met eligibility criteria: 18 randomized controlled trials, 7 comparative studies, and 7 systematic reviews. Outcomes of most studies included Kirkpatrick levels of evidence I-III (reactions, knowledge, and behavior), while few reported level IV outcomes (patient). The overall risk of bias was low. With few exceptions, included studies showed XR technology to be more effective than standard training methods in improving objective skills and performance, shortening procedure time, and receiving more positive learner ratings. However, XR use did not show significant differences in gained knowledge. Conclusions Surgical or procedural XR training may improve technical skill development among trainees and is generally favored over standard training methods. However, there should be an additional focus on how skill development translates to clinically relevant outcomes. We recommend longitudinal studies to examine retention and transfer of training to clinical settings, methods to improve timely, adaptive feedback for deliberate practice, and cost analyses.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)S98-S111
JournalSimulation in Healthcare
Volume19
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 1 2024

Keywords

  • Extended reality
  • augmented reality
  • education
  • immersive
  • mixed reality
  • procedural
  • surgery
  • surgical training
  • virtual reality

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Epidemiology
  • Medicine (miscellaneous)
  • Education
  • Modeling and Simulation

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