Female Pelvic Floor Immersive Simulation: A Randomized Trial to Test the Effectiveness of a Virtual Reality Anatomic Model on Resident Knowledge of Female Pelvic Anatomy

Academic Article


  • Study Objective: To estimate the effect of a virtual reality (VR) anatomic model (VisCubeSX; VisBox, Inc., Saint Joseph, IL) on obstetrics and gynecology residents’ knowledge of female pelvic floor anatomy compared with a traditional curriculum. Design: Randomized controlled trial (Canadian Task Force classification I). Setting: Academic obstetrics and gynecology resident training program. Interventions: Traditional independent study curriculum versus traditional curriculum and VisCubeSX VR curriculum Measurements and Main Results: Residents were randomized, stratified by year of training, in a 1:1 fashion to traditional independent study curriculum for pelvic anatomy versus traditional curriculum and the VisCubeSX VR anatomic model. Tests were administered to assess baseline and postintervention knowledge. A postintervention assessment of the VisCubeSX VR anatomic model was performed. Baseline, follow-up, and score improvement were compared between groups using Student t tests and Wilcoxon rank sum tests. Thirty-one residents were randomized. There was a significant improvement in pre- and post-test scores within traditional independent study curriculum participants, 8.1 ± 12.0 points (p = .02), and the VisCubeSX group 8.7 ± 6.4 points (p <.001), but these improvements did not differ between groups (p = .86). This lack of between-group differences was consistent in resident year-stratified analyses. Residents exposed to the VisCubeSX VR anatomic model reported they “somewhat” or “strongly agree” (15/16 [93.8%] and 14/16 [87.5%] of residents, respectively) that the model improved their knowledge of pelvic anatomy and that the model will improve patient care. Conclusion: Few studies exist that compare educational outcomes of a traditional independent study of female pelvic anatomy curriculum versus immersive simulation with VR models in female pelvic anatomy. Knowledge scores were not significantly increased with the VR model compared with traditional curriculum, but VR technology was perceived as an enhancement to short-term learning.
  • Digital Object Identifier (doi)

    Author List

  • Ellington DR; Shum PC; Dennis EA; Willis HL; Szychowski JM; Richter HE
  • Start Page

  • 897
  • End Page

  • 901
  • Volume

  • 26
  • Issue

  • 5