Background There is an association between video game practice and laparoscopic expertize in trainee surgeons. Ultrasound-guided regional anesthesia has many parallels with laparoscopic surgery. The aim of this study was to explore whether video game experience is associated with enhanced performance in a simulated ultrasound-guided task in novice operators.
Methods In this prospective observational study, 60 medical student volunteers were recruited. Following characterization of video game experience, they underwent an assessment of visuospatial abilities. Following standardized teaching, the recruits’ technical performance of an ultrasound-guided needle task was assessed for overall quality by global rating scale (GRS).
Results Out of a total possible GRS score of 35, gamers compared with non-gamers demonstrated 5.2 (95% CI 1.9 to 8.4) units of better performance. Gamers also performed better in mental rotation test scores (difference 4.1, 95% CI 1.2 to 7.0) .
Conclusion Video game practice is associated with increased mental rotation ability and enhanced technical performance in a simulated ultrasound-guided task.
- regional anesthesia
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Contributors AS: this author helped in the study concept, study design, participant recruitment, data collection, data analysis, critical revision and writing up the first and final draft of the paper. SM: this author helped in the data analysis and critical revision of draft papers. NMB: this author helped in the study design and critical revision of draft papers. JGH: this author helped in the study design and critical revision of draft papers. RAM: this author helped in the study design and critical revision of draft papers.
Funding This work was supported by the Department of Anesthesia & Critical Care, University of Nottingham, Nottingham, UK.
Competing interests JGH receive research funding from industry, charities and research councils. He receives payment for medico-legal work from solicitors, coroners and the police. He is the associate editor in chief of the British Journal of Anesthesia.
Patient consent for publication Not required.
Ethics approval The study was reviewed and approved by the University of Nottingham Medical School Research Ethics Committee (approval reference; L13092012 SCS Anesthesia).
Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.
Data availability statement No data are available. All data relevant to the study are included in the article or uploaded as supplemental information. The study data was in the form of de-identified participant data, which was the property of the University of Nottingham.