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Simulation-based cataract surgical training increases surgical competence

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Ophthalmologists in training who underwent intense simulation-based cataract surgical education saw improvements in surgical competence, according to a study in JAMA Ophthalmology.

In this multicenter clinical educational-intervention trial, 50 trainee ophthalmologists were randomized to receive a 5-day simulation-based cataract surgical training course, in addition to standard surgical training (n = 25) or standard training alone (n = 25), with 1 dropout. Baseline characteristics were balanced. Participants were followed for 12 months, after which, those in the control group received intervention training.

At 3 months, participants who underwent simulation-based cataract surgical training had higher scores—an estimated 16.6 points out of 40 higher—than those who received standard training alone.

In the year after training, participants in the simulation-based training group performed a mean of 21.5 cataract surgical procedures compared to a mean of 8.5 cataract surgical procedures in participants in the control group. The rate of posterior capsule ruptures was 7.8% and 26.6% in the intervention group and the control group, respectively.

Dean WH, Gichuhi S, Buchan JC, et al. Intense simulation-based surgical education for manual small-incision cataract surgery: The Ophthalmic Learning and Improvement Initiative in Cataract Surgery Randomized Clinical Trial in Kenya, Tanzania, Uganda, and Zimbabwe. JAMA Ophthalmol. 2020;DOI:10.1001/jamaophthalmol.2020.4718.

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