Tim Brunson DCH

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Hypnosis-induced mental training improves performance on the Fundamentals of Laparoscopic Surgery...



Full title: Hypnosis-induced mental training improves performance on the Fundamentals of Laparoscopic Surgery (FLS) simulator.

BACKGROUND: Mental training (MT) is used extensively by musicians and athletes to improve their performance. Recently, it has been suggested as a training method for surgical trainees. We assessed the influence of MT, induced by hypnosis, on the performance of simulated tasks on a laparoscopic simulator, as compared to a non-specific relaxing intervention. METHODS: 11 surgeons completed a proficiency-based training program on the Fundamentals of Laparoscopic Surgery (FLS) simulator, until they reached performance plateau of the peg transfer task. Thereafter, they received a single music session, as a relaxing intervention, followed by repeating of the peg transfer task. Then they went through a hypnosis session guided by an experienced psychologist, with suggestions of smooth flow of pegs from one position on the board to another, and re-performed the task. RESULTS: Plateau performance was 51.1 ± 6.9 s. After the music session performance improved by 6.3% to 47.9 ± 5.4 s (p = 0.86). After the MT session performance further improved by 15.3% to 40.1 ± 5.8 s (p = 0.009), which was a 21.6% improvement from baseline (p < 0.001). Subject's satisfaction from their performance, without knowledge of the task scores, was 6.0 ± 2.9 on 0-10 VAS after the music and reached as high as 8.5 ± 1.7 after the hypnotic session (p = 0.01). CONCLUSIONS: Hypnosis-induced MT significantly improves performance on the FLS simulator, which cannot be attributed to its relaxing qualities alone. This study contributes evidence to the effectiveness of MT in surgical skills acquisition and suggests that hypnotic techniques should be used in mental preparation processes. There is a need to further study these effects on operating room performance.

Surg Endosc. 2015 May;29(5):1024-9. doi: 10.1007/s00464-014-3786-1. Epub 2014 Oct 11. Sroka G(1), Arnon Z, Laniado M, Schiff E, Matter I. Author information: (1)Department of General Surgery, Bnai-Zion Medical Center, 47 Golomb Street, Haifa, Israel, gideon.sroka@gmail.com.

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