Ongoing research on mental practice and expertise in laparoscopic surgery (2008-present)

Tue, 9 February 10 15:02

Although considerable research has been conducted on mental practice in athletes, little is known about mental imagery processes in skilled surgeons. Therefore, in an effort to address this question, Prof Aidan Moran (School of Psychology, UCD) has been involved in research collaboration with surgery researchers Dr Rajesh Aggarwal and Dr Sonal Arora (both of Dept of Biosurgery and Surgical Technology, Imperial College, London). In the first stage of this project (partly funded by a UCD President’s Research Fellowship to Prof Aidan Moran, 2008-2009), we demonstrated experimentally that mental practice can enhance laparoscopic surgical skills (see Arora et a., 2010; in press). The next stage of our research is a 5-year study (2010-2015) led by Dr Aggarwal (who has received funding from the UK National Institute for Health Research, NIHR) which will investigate the efficacy of a combination of mental practice and physical practice in the training of laparoscopic surgery skills.
Representative publications

Arora, S., Aggarwal, R., Sirimanna, P., Moran, A., Grantcharov, T., Kneebone, R., Sevdalis, N., and Darzi, A. (2010, in press). “Mental practice enhances surgical skills: A randomized-controlled study”. Accepted for publication in Annals of Surgery

Arora, S., Aggarwal, R., Sevdalis, N., Moran, A., Sirimanna, P., Kneebone, R., and Darzi, A. (2009). “Development and validation of mental practice as a training strategy for laparoscopic surgery”. Surgical Endoscopy, 24(1), 179-187 DOI 10.1007/s00464-009-0624-y