Psychomotor skills training in pediatric airway endoscopy simulation

Noel Jabbour, Troy Reihsen, Robert M. Sweet, James D. Sidman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

33 Scopus citations


Objective. To develop a robust psychomotor skills curriculum to teach pediatric airway foreign body retrieval and to assess the effect of this curriculum on residents' confidence in and ability to perform the complete task in an infant airway mannequin. Study Design. Instructional course. Objective Structured Assessment of Technical Skills (OSATS). Setting. Surgical simulation laboratory. Subjects and Methods. A half-day simulation-based course was developed to train otolaryngology residents in bronchoscopic foreign body retrieval. This complex psychomotor skill was deconstructed into subtasks. The following curricular learning objectives were presented and assessed: understanding of tracheobronchial anatomy, ability to adequately visualize the larynx with laryngoscopy, proficiency in rigid bronchoscopy, and familiarity with foreign body instrumentation. Residents were objectively evaluated on their ability to perform the complete task on a simulator before and after the course using an OSATS grading system. Confidence in successfully assembling the instruments and completing the task was assessed at these time periods. Results. Seventeen otolaryngology residents completed the study. Confidence in assembling the instruments and in performing the complete task increased on average by 81% and 43%, respectively (P < .001). Using a 15-point OSATS grading system, the average score for the precourse was 7 and for the postcourse was 11.3 (P < .001). Conclusion. Simulation-based subtask training shows promise as an effective and reproducible method to teach the complex psychomotor task of airway foreign body retrieval. Completion of the curriculum led to a significant improvement in residents' confidence in and ability to perform bronchoscopic foreign body retrieval in an infant airway mannequin.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)43-50
Number of pages8
JournalOtolaryngology - Head and Neck Surgery
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jul 2011

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
Funding source: This study was funded in part by a 2009 Resident Research Grant from the American Academy of Otolaryngology—Head & Neck Surgery Foundation ($10,000) and a University of Minnesota SimPORTAL Support Services Grant ($5,744).


  • Airway foreign body
  • Bronchoscopy
  • Resident education
  • Simulation
  • Task deconstruction


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