Current Status of Simulation in Otolaryngology: A Systematic Review

Journal of Surgical Education.

Current Status of Simulation in Otolaryngology: A Systematic Review

Omar Musbahi, BEng, Abdullatif Aydin, BSc, MBBS, Yasser Al Omran, BSc, MBBS, Christopher James Skilbeck, FRCS (ORL-HNS), MPhil (Cantab), Kamran Ahmed, MBBS, MRCS, PhD

OBJECTIVE: Otolaryngology is a highly technical and demanding specialty and the requirements for surgical trainees to acquire proficiency remains challenging. Simulation has been purported to be an effective tool in assisting with this. The aim of this systematic review is to identify the available otolaryngology simulators, their status of validation, and evaluation the level of evidence behind each training model and thereby establish a level of recommendation.

DESIGN: PubMed, ERIC, and Google Scholar databases were searched for articles that described otolaryngology simulators or training models between 1980 and April 2016. Any validation studies for simulators were also retrieved. Titles and abstracts were screened for relevance using the preferred reporting items for systematic reviews and meta-analysis (PRISMA) guidelines. Level of evidence (LoE) and Level of recommendation (LoR) was awarded to each study and model, respectively.

RESULTS: A total of 70 studies were identified describing 64 simulators. Out of these, at least 54 simulators had 1 validation study. Simulators for the ear and temporal bone surgery were the most common (n = 32), followed by laryngeal and throat (n = 20) and endoscopic sinus surgery (n = 12). Face validity was evaluated by 29 studies, 20 attempted to show construct, 20 assessed content, 20 transfer, and only 2 assessed concurrent validity. Of the validation assessments, 2 were classified as Level 1b, 10 Level 2a, and 48 Level 2b. No simulators received the highest LoR, but 8 simulators received a LoR of 2.

CONCLUSIONS: Despite the lack of evidence in outcome studies and limited number of high-validity otolaryngology simulators, the role of simulation continues to grow across surgical specialties Hence, it is imperative that the simulators are of high validity and construct for trainees to practice and rehearse surgical skills to develop confidence.

KEYWORDS: otolaryngology; ENT; simulation; training; validation; systematic review