External validation of a prostate biopsy simulator


Summary Introduction Simulation-based training has proven to be a promising option allowing for initial and continuous training while limiting the impact of the learning curve on the patient. The Biopsym simulator was developed as a complete teaching environment for the prostate biopsy procedure. This paper presents the results of an external validation of this simulator, involving urology residents recruited during a regional teaching seminar. Methods Residents from 4 academic urology departments of the French Auvergne Rhône-Alpes region, who did not take part in the previous simulator validation studies, were enrolled. After a short presentation and standardized initiation session, residents carried out a simulated systematic 12-core biopsy procedure and were asked to fill in a questionnaire collecting their expectations and evaluation of the Biopsym simulator. The number of biopsies reaching each targeted sector, the total score provided by the simulator and the duration of the procedure were recorded. Results Twenty-three residents were recruited. The overall added value (/100) for learning was rated at a median of 100 (interquartile range 83-100), overall realism of the biopsy procedure at 80 (65-89). The median percentage of biopsies reaching the targeted sector was 66.7% (62-75). The median score provided by the simulator was 50% (37-60). For both, the difference between residents with or without prior biopsy experience was not statistically significant. The median duration of the simulated biopsy procedure was 4:58 (minutes: seconds) (3:49-6:00). Resident with prior experience required less time to complete the biopsy procedure 3:53 (3:39-4:56) vs. 5:10 (4:59-7:10), P=0.01. Conclusion This external validation study confirms a high acceptance of the simulator by the target audience. To our knowledge, the Biopsym simulator is the only prostate biopsy simulator that demonstrated such validity as evaluated by clinicians, outside the center involved in its early development. Level of evidence