Cognitive Task Analysis of Spatial Skills in Hysterectomy with the Da Vinchi Surgical System

Liel Luko, Avi Parush, and Lior Lowenstein


robotassisted surgery, robotaided surgery, humanrobot interaction, spatial skill training, cognitive task analysis


Spatial skills have an influence on surgeon’s performance during robot-assisted surgery, and as such should be part of the training. Yet, there is a gap between the current training programs for surgical skills and the needed training of crucial spatial skills. This work addresses the need to improve skill training in robot-assisted surgery with an innovative approach. The innovative aspects are the analysis and identification of the influential and essential spatial skills in robot-assisted surgery as a basis for training surgeons to improve performance in various conditions. The overall goal is to identify the crucial spatial skills needed for robot-assisted surgery and introduce them in a training program. The specific objectives are to focus on the cognitive tasks performed during a robot-assisted Hysterectomy and uncover the underlying spatial tasks. In addition, the analysis is aimed at identifying high risk spatial tasks where a failure during the task could increase the risk for both surgeons and patients. Data collection included observations and interviews, followed by a cognitive task analysis. Spatial tasks and the relevant spatial skills were identified, and high-risk spatial tasks were detected. Finally, the implications of training spatial skills on surgeon’s performance in robot-assisted surgery is discussed.

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