Orejuela FJ, Aschkenazi SO, Howard DL, Jeppson PC, Balgobin S, Walter AJ, White A, Olivera CK, Sanses TV, Thompson J, Gala RB, Matteson K, Balk EM, Meriwether KV, Rahn DD
OBJECTIVE: To evaluate the effect of simulation training vs traditional hands-on surgical instruction on learner operative skills and patient outcomes in gynecologic surgeries.DATA SOURCES: PubMed, Embase, ClinicalTrials.gov, and the Cochrane Central Register of Controlled Trials from inception to January 12, 2021.STUDY ELIGIBILITY CRITERIA: Randomized controlled trials, prospective comparative studies, and prospective single-group studies with pre- and posttraining assessments that reported surgical simulation-based training before gynecologic surgery were included.METHODS: Reviewers independently identified the studies, obtained data, and assessed the study quality. The results were analyzed according to the type of gynecologic surgery, simulation, comparator, and outcome data, including clinical and patient-related outcomes. The maximum likelihood random effects model meta-analyses of the odds ratios and standardized mean differences were calculated with estimated 95% confidence intervals.RESULTS: Twenty studies, including 13 randomized controlled trials, 1 randomized crossover trial, 5 nonrandomized comparative studies, and 1 prepost study were identified. Most of the included studies (14/21, 67%) were on laparoscopic simulators and had a moderate quality of evidence. Meta-analysis showed that compared with traditional surgical teaching, high- and low-fidelity simulators improved surgical technical skills in the operating room as measured by global rating scales, and high-fidelity simulators decreased the operative time. Moderate quality evidence was found favoring warm-up exercises before laparoscopic surgery. There was insufficient evidence to conduct a meta-analysis for other gynecologic procedures.CONCLUSION: Current evidence supports incorporating simulation-based training for a variety of gynecologic surgeries to increase technical skills in the operating room, but data on patient-related outcomes are lacking.