Validation of the VBLaST: A virtual peg transfer task in gynecologic surgeons

Christopher Awtrey, Amine Chellali, Steven Schwaitzberg, Suvranu De, Daniel Jones, Caroline Cao

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Study Objective: To validate the Virtual Basic Laparoscopic Skill Trainer (VBLaST-PT; the peg transfer task) for concurrent validity based on its ability to differentiate between novice, intermediate, and expert groups of gynecologists, and the gynecologists' subjective preference between the physical Fundamentals of Laparoscopic Surgery (FLS) system and the virtual reality system. Design: Prospective study (Canadian Task Force II-2). Setting: Academic medical center. Participants: Obstetrics and gynecology residents (n = 18) and attending gynecologists (n = 9). Interventions: Twenty-seven subjects were divided into 3 groups: novices (n = 9), intermediates (n = 9), and experts (n = 9). All subjects performed 10 trials of the peg transfer on each simulator. Assessment of laparoscopic performance was based on FLS scoring, whereas a questionnaire was used for subjective evaluation. Measurements and Main Results: The performance scores in the 2 simulators were nearly identical. Experts performed better than intermediates and novices in both the FLS trainer and the VBLAST, and intermediates performed better than novices in both simulators. The results also show a significant learning effect on both trainers for all subgroups; however, the greatest learning effect was in the novice group for both trainers. Subjectively, 74% participants preferred the FLS over the VBLaST for training laparoscopic surgical skills. Conclusion: This study demonstrates that the peg transfer task was reproduced well in the VBLaST in gynecologic surgeons and trainees. The VBLaST has the potential to be a valuable tool in laparoscopic training for gynecologic surgeons.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1271-1277
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Minimally Invasive Gynecology
Issue number7
StatePublished - 2015
Externally publishedYes


  • Laparoscopy
  • Surgical education
  • Surgical skills
  • Virtual trainer

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Obstetrics and Gynecology


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