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The international forum of ophthalmic simulation: developing a virtual reality training curriculum for ophthalmology
  1. George M Saleh1,2,3,
  2. Julia Lamparter2,4,
  3. Paul M Sullivan2,
  4. Fiona O'Sullivan3,
  5. Badrul Hussain2,
  6. Ioannis Athanasiadis2,5,
  7. Andre S Litwin2,
  8. Stewart N Gillan2
  1. 1NIHR Biomedical Research Centre at Moorfields Eye Hospital NHS Foundation Trust and UCL Institute of Ophthalmology, London, UK
  2. 2Moorfields Eye Hospital, London, UK
  3. 3School of Ophthalmology, The London Deanery, London UK
  4. 4Department of Ophthalmology, University Medical Centre, Mainz, Germany
  5. 5Ophthalmologiko iatreio, Thessaloniki, Greece
  1. Correspondence to George M Saleh, National Institute of Health Research Biomedical Research Centre at Moorfields Eye Hospital NHS Foundation Trust and UCL Institute of Ophthalmology, 162 City Road, London EC1V 2PD, UK; George.saleh{at}


Background To investigate the effect of a structured, supervised, cataract simulation programme on ophthalmic surgeons in their first year of training, and to evaluate the level of skill transfer.

Methods Trainees with minimal intraocular and simulator experience in their first year of ophthalmology undertook a structured, sequential, customised, virtual reality (VR) cataract training programme developed through the International Forum of Ophthalmic Simulation. A set of one-handed, bimanual, static and dynamic tasks were evaluated before and after the course and scores obtained. Statistical significance was evaluated with the Wilcoxon sign-rank test.

Results The median precourse score of 101.50/400 (IQR 58.75–145.75) was significantly improved after completing the training programme ((postcourse score: 302/400, range: 266.25–343), p<0.001). While improvement was evident and found to be statistically significant in all parameters, greatest improvements were found for capsulorhexis and antitremor training ((Capsulorhexis: precourse score=0/100, range 0–4.5; postcourse score=81/100, range 13–87.75; p=0.002), (antitremor training: precourse score=0/100, range 0–0; postcourse score=80/100, range 60.25–91.50; p=0.001)).

Conclusions Structured and supervised VR training can offer a significant level of skills transfer to novice ophthalmic surgeons. VR training at the earliest stage of ophthalmic surgical training may, therefore, be of benefit.

  • Eye (Globe)
  • Medical Education
  • Lens and zonules
  • Optics and Refraction
  • Treatment Surgery

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