Motion Metrics Reliably Differentiate Competency: Fundamentals of Endovascular and Vascular Surgery

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Journal of vascular surgery


Objective: The Fundamentals of Endovascular and Vascular Surgery, a curriculum that includes an endovascular model for skills testing, aims to differentiate between competent and noncompetent performers. The aim of our study was to further validate the model and to test its reliability in assessing the performance of endovascular trainees in an uncontrolled setting. Methods: The model was tested exclusively in a virtual reality environment. On the basis of their endovascular experience, 52 participants were divided into three groups: novice (cases), intermediate (50-500 endovascular cases), and expert (>500 endovascular cases). Performance was evaluated in four tasks, measuring the tool tip position and velocity on the virtual model. Average tool tip velocity and movement smoothness in the velocity frequency domain are validated parameters defining proficiency of movement. The data were filtered and interpolated to calculate the metrics. Trials containing critical tool manipulation errors were excluded. Results: In total, 52 tasks completed by novices, 25 completed by intermediates, and 38 completed by experts were analyzed to determine performance. The difference in performance between the novice and expert groups was statistically significant for guidewire smoothness (P < .001). The expert group had a statistically significantly higher average guidewire velocity compared with the novice group (P < .001). Conclusions: The Fundamentals of Endovascular and Vascular Surgery model continues to differentiate novices from experts on the basis of their handling of guidewire and catheter tools, measured as smoothness and velocity. This model offers a useful instrument to test competency of endovascular surgeons.

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