Effect of Short- Versus Long-Term Video Game Playing on Basic Laparoscopic Skills Acquisition of Veterinary Medicine Students.

Research paper by Ohad O Levi, Donna L DL Shettko, Mark M Battles, Peggy L PL Schmidt, Maria A MA Fahie, Dominique J DJ Griffon, Paul P Gordon-Ross, Dean A DA Hendrickson

Indexed on: 20 Dec '18Published on: 20 Dec '18Published in: Journal of veterinary medical education


The objective of this study was to investigate the effect of playing video games on the performance of basic laparoscopic skills. The study was an experimental pre-test-post-test comparison group design. Fifty-two students (31 from the Western University of Health Sciences College of Veterinary Medicine and 21 from the Colorado State University College of Veterinary Medicine) completing their first or second year of the veterinary curriculum were randomized into two intervention groups. The intervention consisted of playing the video game Marble Mania on a Nintendo Wii. group L (long) played 18 hours over 6 weeks and group S (short) played 3 hours during the last week of the 6-week intervention period. Before and after the intervention, basic laparoscopic skills for both groups were assessed using a modified McGill Inanimate System for Training and Evaluation of Laparoscopic Skills (MISTELS) instrument. Participants performed two laparoscopic tasks. Results showed that the performance of students improved in both group S and L ( p < .05) on both laparoscopic tasks. Both groups showed statistically significant improvement in their post-intervention scores (group L, N = 25, z = -3.711, p < .001, r = 0.742; group S, N = 27, z = -3.016, p < .003, r = 0.580). There was no significant difference in the degree of improvement between group S and group L. The results suggest that playing Marble Mania on a Wii for any time duration could be an effective method for veterinary medicine students to improve basic laparoscopic skills, and indicate the needs for additional studies.