Feasibility and acceptance of a robotic surgery ergonomic training program.JSLS. 2014 Oct-Dec; 18(4)JSLS
BACKGROUND AND OBJECTIVES
Assessment of ergonomic strain during robotic surgery indicates there is a need for intervention. However, limited data exist detailing the feasibility and acceptance of ergonomic training (ET) for robotic surgeons. This prospective, observational pilot study evaluates the implementation of an evidence-based ET module.
A two-part survey was conducted. The first survey assessed robotic strain using the Nordic Musculoskeletal Questionnaire (NMQ). Participants were given the option to participate in either an online or an in-person ET session. The ET was derived from Occupational Safety and Health Administration guidelines and developed by a human factors engineer experienced with health care ergonomics. After ET, a follow-up survey including the NMQ and an assessment of the ET were completed.
The survey was sent to 67 robotic surgeons. Forty-two (62.7%) responded, including 18 residents, 8 fellows, and 16 attending physicians. Forty-five percent experienced strain resulting from performing robotic surgery and 26.3% reported persistent strain. Only 16.6% of surgeons reported prior ET in robotic surgery. Thirty-five (78%) surgeons elected to have in-person ET, which was successfully arranged for 32 surgeons (91.4%). Thirty-seven surgeons (88.1%) completed the follow-up survey. All surgeons participating in the in-person ET found it helpful and felt formal ET should be standard, 88% changed their practice as a result of the training, and 74% of those reporting strain noticed a decrease after their ET.
Thus, at a high-volume robotics center, evidence-based ET was easily implemented, well-received, changed some surgeons' practice, and decreased self-reported strain related to robotic surgery.