We assessed the construct validity of the LapSim laparoscopic surgical simulator in a urology residency training program.
In total, 15 residents participated in the study between July 2007 and July 2008. The subjects were tested six times at one-month intervals on three skill tasks (lifting and grasping, cutting and clip application) using the LapSim laparoscopic simulator. The testing sessions were divided into the first three sessions (seminar 1), and the subsequent three sessions (seminar 2). We evaluated the following parameters: total time, path length, angular path length, tissue damage, maximum damage and stretch damage. The subjects were divided into junior (PGY 1,2) and senior resident groups (PGY 3,4,5). The Wilcoxon Signed-Rank test for paired samples was used to compare the performances of the juniors and seniors during seminar 1 to their performance in seminar 2 to determine whether there was improvement over time. The Wilcoxon Rank-Sum test for independent samples was used to compare the performance of the juniors to that of the seniors for seminar 1, seminar 2 and the combination of both seminars to determine whether the more experienced senior residents performed better than the less experienced juniors.
No significant performance improvement between testing sessions could be demonstrated. Similarly, there was no significant difference in performance between junior and senior residents.
Construct validity could not be demonstrated for the total time, path length, angular path length and tissue handling parameters of the LapSim laparoscopic surgical simulator when examined within the context of a urology residency program.