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Performing under pressure: Quiet eye training improves surgical knot-tying performance

Causer, J, Vickers, JN, Snelgrove, R, Arsenault, G and Harvey, A (2014) Performing under pressure: Quiet eye training improves surgical knot-tying performance. SURGERY, 156 (5). pp. 1089-1096. ISSN 0039-6060

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Background: We examined the effectiveness of traditional technical training (TT) and quiet eye training (QET) on the performance of one-handed square knot tying in first-year surgery residents under normal and high anxiety conditions.
Methods: Twenty surgery residents were assigned randomly to the two groups and completed pretest, training, and simple and complex retention tests under conditions of high and low anxiety. The TT group received traditional instruction on improving hand movements; the QET group received feedback on their gaze behaviors. Participants wore an eye tracker that recorded simultaneously their gaze and hand movements. Dependent variables were: knot tying performance (%), quiet eye duration (%), number of fixations, and total movement time (s).
Results: Both groups improved their knot tying performance (p < 0.05) from pretest to the low anxiety conditions (mean difference: QET = 28%; TT = 17%), however, only the QET group maintained their knot tying performance in the high anxiety conditions (mean difference: QET = 18%; p < 0.05) with the TT group decreasing their performance close to pretest levels (p > 0.05). The QET group also demonstrated more efficient gaze and hand movements post training.
Conclusions: These data demonstrate the effectiveness of training gaze behaviors, not only to improve the effectiveness and efficiency of performance, but also to mediate any negative effects of anxiety on performance. These findings may have important implications for medical educators and practitioners, as well as surgeons who may be (re)training or learning new procedures.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: 1103 Clinical Sciences
Subjects: R Medicine > RD Surgery
Divisions: Sport & Exercise Sciences
Publisher: Elsevier
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Date Deposited: 13 Jul 2016 10:34
Last Modified: 04 Sep 2021 13:57
DOI or ID number: 10.1016/j.surg.2014.05.004
URI: https://researchonline.ljmu.ac.uk/id/eprint/2063
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