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Learning basic surgical skills with mental imagery: using the simulation centre in the mind

Learning basic surgical skills with mental imagery: using the simulation centre in the mind Context Although surgeons and athletes frequently use mental imagery in preparing to perform, mental imagery has not been extensively researched as a learning technique in medical education. Objective A mental imagery rehearsal technique was experimentally compared with textbook study to determine the effects of each on the learning of basic surgical skills. Methods Sixty‐four Year 2 medical students were randomly assigned to 2 treatment groups in which they undertook either mental imagery or textbook study. Both groups received the usual skills course of didactic lectures, demonstrations, physical practice with pigs’ feet and a live animal laboratory. One group received additional training in mental imagery and the other group was given textbook study. Performance was assessed at 3 different time‐points using a reliable rating scale. Results Analysis of variance on student performance in live rabbit surgery revealed a significant interaction favouring the imagery group over the textbook study group. Conclusions The mental imagery technique appeared to transfer learning from practice to actual surgery better than textbook study. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Medical Education Wiley

Learning basic surgical skills with mental imagery: using the simulation centre in the mind

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References (17)

Publisher
Wiley
Copyright
© Blackwell Publishing Ltd 2008
ISSN
0308-0110
eISSN
1365-2923
DOI
10.1111/j.1365-2923.2007.02964.x
pmid
18435713
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

Context Although surgeons and athletes frequently use mental imagery in preparing to perform, mental imagery has not been extensively researched as a learning technique in medical education. Objective A mental imagery rehearsal technique was experimentally compared with textbook study to determine the effects of each on the learning of basic surgical skills. Methods Sixty‐four Year 2 medical students were randomly assigned to 2 treatment groups in which they undertook either mental imagery or textbook study. Both groups received the usual skills course of didactic lectures, demonstrations, physical practice with pigs’ feet and a live animal laboratory. One group received additional training in mental imagery and the other group was given textbook study. Performance was assessed at 3 different time‐points using a reliable rating scale. Results Analysis of variance on student performance in live rabbit surgery revealed a significant interaction favouring the imagery group over the textbook study group. Conclusions The mental imagery technique appeared to transfer learning from practice to actual surgery better than textbook study.

Journal

Medical EducationWiley

Published: Jun 1, 2008

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