QUIET PLEASE! Effect of distraction on simulated posterior segment surgical performance

Gerard McGowan, Lona Jawaheer, David Young, David Yorston

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

3 Citations (Scopus)
13 Downloads (Pure)


To determine the effect of distraction on posterior segment surgical performance using a virtual reality simulator in expert and novice ophthalmic surgeons.

Twenty subjects were given six minutes to read an unpublished research paper and then randomized into two groups. Group 1 subjects were allowed three minutes to complete a standardized vitreoretinal simulated task undistracted. Group 2 subjects were asked six questions on the research paper whilst completing the same task. Each subject then performed the alternate scenario. Finally, all participants were asked six questions on the research paper whilst not operating.

There was no evidence of a difference in the odometer values (p=0.127), cognitive task score (p=0.390) or overall surgical task scores (p=0.113) between the two groups. The time taken by the distracted group was significantly greater (95% CI -26.03 to -1.67, t-test p=0.028).

Distraction significantly increases the time taken to perform a simulated vitreoretinal surgical task for all grades of surgeon. More studies are required to understand the impact on different types of distraction on surgical performance.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages5
JournalGraefe's Archive for Clinical and Experimental Ophthalmology
Early online date4 Feb 2018
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 4 Feb 2018


  • ophthalmic surgeons
  • surgery
  • virtual reality simulations
  • vitreoretinal surgical tasks
  • posterior segment
  • distraction
  • surgical performance

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