Fundamental aspects of learning minimally invasive surgical skills

J. Dankelman, M. K. Chmarra, E. G. G. Verdaasdonk, L. P. S. Stassen, C. A. Grimbergen

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articleAcademicpeer-review

48 Citations (Scopus)


With the introduction of minimally invasive surgery (MIS) the necessity to develop training methods to learn skills outside the operating room (OR) became clear. Several training simulators have become commercially available. However, fundamental research into the requirements for effective and efficient training in MIS is still lacking. Yet in the literature several learning models have been described that may be used when designing the structure of a training program. While learning skills, three stages can be observed: cognitive, associative and autonomous. The learning cycle also includes different learning styles and, moreover, every trainee has his/her preferred learning style. Furthermore, training should be adapted to the level of behaviour: skill-based, rule-based or knowledge-based. Training of complex skills should include multiple performance objectives, such as just-in-time supportive information and part-task practice. Finally, motivation for training can be created by assessment. In conclusion, several theories on learning can be found in the literature. These theories may help in the development of effective training programs for training MIS skills outside the OR
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)247-256
JournalMinimally invasive therapy & allied technologies : MITAT
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 2005

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