Alpha Omega Alpha Honor Medical Society

How do Different Auditory Environments Impact the Surgical Performance of Novice Surgeons?

Investigator:Brian Chung

Mentors: Mentor Duane Baldwin, MD

Methods:
53 medical students were randomized to an environment with either no additional background noise (NM), classical music (CM), or death metal music accompanied by recorded conversations and distracting noises (DM). The da Vinci Surgical System (dVSS) and Surgical Skills Simulator (SSS) assessed and measured student performance. No student had prior simulated robotic surgery experience. After reading the same written instructions for orientation to the dVSS and watching instructional videos provided on the SSS for Energy Dissection 3 (ED3) and Suture Sponge 3 (SS3), students performed three trials each of the two exercises in their respective environments. The SSS scored each trial. Blood pressure readings were recorded at specific intervals during the trials. Students then completed a questionnaire regarding their experiences in their assigned auditory environments. Data was analyzed using the chi-square and Kruskal-Wallis tests and pairwise comparisons with p<0.05 indicating statistical significance.

Results:
According to questionnaire responses, students reported NM to be more relaxing (p<0.01), more pleasant (p<0.01), and better at boosting performance (p<0.01) than DM. Students reported CM to be more relaxing (p<0.01), more pleasant (p<0.01), and better at boosting performance (p<0.01) than DM. There was no difference in ratings between NM and CM for any category. For ED3, 57.14% of students in CM had decreased mean arterial pressure (MAP) compared to 0% of students in NM and 11.11% of students in DM (p<0.02). For SS3, 71.43% of students in CM had decreased MAP compared to 28.57% of students in NM and 11.11% of students in DM (p<0.04).

Discussion:
Students reported that an environment with no music or with classical music playing was subjectively more relaxing and pleasant and better at boosting performance than an environment with death metal and distractions. Classical music was found to be more effective at objectively lowering MAP than NM and DM.

Last modified: 2/03/2017

Updated on February 3, 2017.


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