Operating Room Virtual Reality Immersion Improves Self-Efficacy Amongst Preclinical Physician Assistant Students.
Francis Erika R,Bernard Stephanie,Nowak Morgan L,Daniel Sarah,Bernard Johnathan A
Journal of surgical education
OBJECTIVE:To assess the impact on self-efficacy for preclinical physician assistant (PA) students through immersive virtual reality (VR) operating room simulation. DESIGN:Randomized double-blinded controlled experiment measuring self-efficacy using Schwarzer and Jerusalem's general self-efficacy scale. An entirely novel operating room was created, casted, and filmed using VR software. Fifty-two preclinical PA students were randomly assigned to VR (n = 26) or traditional lecture (n = 26) and self-efficacy was measured in both conditions using a general self-efficacy scale given before and after the virtual experience. A mixed ANOVA, independent sample t tests, and paired samples t tests were performed. SETTING:Shenandoah University Physician Assistant program, Winchester, Virginia. RESULTS:Exposure to VR training after the traditional lecture improves self-efficacy amongst PA students (p < 0.05). Exposure to VR improved self-efficacy compared to traditional methods (p < 0.05). There was no difference in self-efficacy amongst PA students with the traditional model (p < 0.05). CONCLUSIONS:The introduction of VR simulation improved preclinical PA student self-efficacy in the operating room setting.