Background Simulation training has been used in the aviation industry and surgical specialties for many years, but integration into neurointerventional practice is lagging behind.
Objective To investigate how neurointerventionalists perceive the usefulness and limitations of simulation tools for the treatment of unruptured intracranial aneurysms (UIAs), and to identify simulation applications that were perceived to be most valuable for endovascular UIA treatment.
Methods A web-based international multidisciplinary survey was conducted among neurointerventionalists. Participants were asked for their perceptions on the usefulness of current simulation tools and the potential impact of future simulation tools in endovascular UIA treatment. They identified simulation applications that could add most value to endovascular UIA treatment and help to specifically reduce endovascular UIA treatment complications.
Results 233 neurointerventionalists from 38 countries completed the survey, most of whom (157/233 (67.4%)) had access to a simulator as a trainee, but only 15.3% used it frequently. Most participants (117/233 (50.2%)) considered currently available simulation tools relatively useful for endovascular UIA treatment, with greater value for trainees than for staff. Simulation of new devices (147/233 (63.1%)) and virtual practice runs in individual patient anatomy (119/233 (51.1%)) were considered most valuable for reducing endovascular UIA treatment complications.
Conclusion Although neurointerventionalists perceived currently available simulation tools relatively useful, they did not use them regularly during their training. A priori testing of new devices and practice runs in individual patient anatomy in a virtual environment were thought to have the greatest potential for reducing endovascular UIA treatment complications.
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