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Meditation Using a Mobile App Improves Surgery Trainee Performance: A Simulation-Based Randomized Controlled Trial

Published:September 30, 2022DOI:https://doi.org/10.1016/j.arthro.2022.09.008

      Purpose

      To primarily investigate: (1) whether a 10-minute instant meditation practice using a mobile app could enhance arthroscopy performance and (2) whether a 10-day app-based meditation could reduce short-term arthroscopic skills deterioration.

      Methods

      Orthopaedic residents with no previous experience in arthroscopy and meditation were randomly assigned to groups A, B, and C. After initial standard competency-based arthroscopy training on the simulator on day 1, a pretest was performed via the simulator by all participants to assess their initial level of performance, then groups A and B were required to practice app-based mindfulness meditation 10 min/day for 10 consecutive days while group C did nothing. On day 11, all participants returned to perform a posttest. Before the posttest, the participants in group A practiced app-based meditation (10 minutes), whereas groups B and C had no intervention.

      Results

      In total, 43 participants were included and reached similar level of performance after initial training phase in day 1. On day 11, participants in group A had statistically a better instant arthroscopy performance than group B, with greater total score (mean difference [MD] 3.57; P < .001), less completion time (MD –42.89 seconds; P = .001), shorter camera (MD –23.38 cm; P < .001) and grasper (MD –15.23 cm; P = .002) path length, and less cartilage injury (MD –1.07%; P = .012). Participants in group B had less skills deterioration than group C, with better total score (MD –5.42; P < .001), less completion time (MD 51.96s; P = .002), camera path length (MD 28.41 cm; P = .007), and cartilage injury (MD 1.19%; P = .038).

      Conclusions

      Meditation training using a mobile app enhanced instant simulation-based arthroscopy performance and reduced short-term skills deterioration of orthopaedic residents with no arthroscopy hands-on experience.

      Clinical Relevance

      A meditation using mobile app for clinicians and educators should be incorporated into simulation-based arthroscopy curriculums and perhaps clinical settings to improve arthroscopy performance and mental health of orthopaedic residents without any previous arthroscopy experience.
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