Face and construct validation of a next generation virtual reality (Gen2-VR©) surgical simulator

Ganesh Sankaranarayanan, Baichun Li, Kelly Manser, Stephanie B. Jones, Daniel B. Jones, Steven Schwaitzberg, Caroline G.L. Cao, Suvranu De

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Introduction: Surgical performance is affected by distractors and interruptions to surgical workflow that exist in the operating room. However, traditional surgical simulators are used to train surgeons in a skills laboratory that does not recreate these conditions. To overcome this limitation, we have developed a novel, immersive virtual reality (Gen2-VR©) system to train surgeons in these environments. This study was to establish face and construct validity of our system. Methods and procedures: The study was a within-subjects design, with subjects repeating a virtual peg transfer task under three different conditions: Case I: traditional VR; Case II: Gen2-VR© with no distractions and Case III: Gen2-VR© with distractions and interruptions. In Case III, to simulate the effects of distractions and interruptions, music was played intermittently, the camera lens was fogged for 10 s and tools malfunctioned for 15 s at random points in time during the simulation. At the completion of the study subjects filled in a 5-point Likert scale feedback questionnaire. A total of sixteen subjects participated in this study. Results: Friedman test showed significant difference in scores between the three conditions (p < 0.0001). Post hoc analysis using Wilcoxon signed-rank tests with Bonferroni correction further showed that all the three conditions were significantly different from each other (Case I, Case II, p < 0.0001), (Case I, Case III, p < 0.0001) and (Case II, Case III, p = 0.009). Subjects rated that fog (mean 4.18) and tool malfunction (median 4.56) significantly hindered their performance. Conclusion: The results showed that Gen2-VR© simulator has both face and construct validity and that it can accurately and realistically present distractions and interruptions in a simulated OR, in spite of limitations of the current HMD hardware technology.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)979-985
Number of pages7
JournalSurgical endoscopy
Issue number3
StatePublished - Mar 1 2016
Externally publishedYes


  • Cognitive simulator
  • Face and construct validation
  • Gen2-VR
  • Head-mounted display
  • Immersive virtual reality
  • Surgery simulator

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery


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