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Simulation for technical skill acquisition in open vascular surgery.

  • Falconer, Rachel1
  • Semple, Cariona M2
  • Walker, Kenneth G3
  • Cleland, Jennifer4
  • Watson, Angus J M5
  • 1 Centre for Health Science, Inverness, United Kingdom. Electronic address: [email protected] , (United Kingdom)
  • 2 Department of Vascular Surgery, Victoria Hospital, Kirkcaldy, United Kingdom. , (United Kingdom)
  • 3 NHS Education for Scotland, Inverness, United Kingdom; Department of General Surgery, Raigmore Hospital, Inverness, United Kingdom. , (United Kingdom)
  • 4 Medical Education Research & Scholarship Unit (MERSU), Lee Kong Chian School of Medicine, Nanyang Technological University, Singapore. , (Singapore)
  • 5 Department of General Surgery, Raigmore Hospital, Inverness, United Kingdom. , (United Kingdom)
Published Article
Journal of vascular surgery
Publication Date
May 01, 2021
DOI: 10.1016/j.jvs.2020.09.042
PMID: 33248120


Simulation has an increasingly prominent role in modern vascular surgery training. However, it is important to understand how simulation is most effectively delivered to best use the time and resources available. The aim of this narrative review is therefore to critically appraise open technical skill acquisition in the operating room environment and provide recommendations for the future development of evidence-based simulation for open vascular surgery. A systematic search strategy was used to retrieve relevant studies from PubMed, Medline, Web of Science, EMBASE, and the Cochrane databases in July 2019. Included papers were independently screened by two reviewers. Data were subsequently extracted using a standardized proforma and thematically analyzed. Thirteen studies were included. All demonstrated that simulation is effective in improving confidence and/or competence in performing open technical skills when assessed by previously validated metrics. However, not all participants or course schedules achieved equal benefit, with distributed practice for junior trainees over several weeks achieving a greater improvement in technical skill compared with senior trainees or longer course schedules for some tasks. Simulation can be an effective adjunct to traditional operative experience for technical skill acquisition in open vascular surgery. Future work should focus on developing models to address a wider range of training needs, as well as further defining the optimum schedule for the style, content, and timing of simulation for specific learner groups. Copyright © 2020 Society for Vascular Surgery. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

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