DOI: 10.1093/bjs/znad241.141 ISSN:

SP11.13 A Systematic Review on the Effectiveness of Augmented Reality for Medical Students’ Surgical Training

Aishwarya Shah, Anaiya Kaka, Niraj Kumar, Arpit Patel, Azedah Yunus, Akash Patel
  • Surgery



Interest in augmented reality (AR) technologies within an educational setting has surged in recent years. However, few studies evaluate the use of AR in a primarily medical student population. This systematic review with meta-analysis was conducted to evaluate the existing literature on this topic.


The Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-Analyses (PRISMA) guidelines were adhered to during this review. Using relevant synonyms for the terms “augmented reality”, “medical students” and “surgery”, the databases Embase, Medline and Scopus were searched. Data was extracted for outcome measures such as errors/fails, attempts/retries, time for task completion, motion sickness/nausea and focus shifts.


826 records were initially retrieved; 19 studies were included in the final review, with a total of 485 participants. The AR group performed better than the comparator group in 84% of the statistically significant main outcomes. The groups showed no statistically significant difference in likelihood of failing assessment, with a pooled odds ratio of 1.76 (95% CI:0.06-51.71, p=0.74, I2=81%). One study reported 57% fewer critical errors in the AR group than the comparator group. Two studies reported nausea/motion sickness as an outcome (12% (n=3) and mean Likert-scale score of 3 (out of 10) in the AR groups).


AR can be an effective surgical teaching and training tool for medical students. However, the limitations of AR, including visually induced motion sickness, have not been explored extensively by primary studies. Gradual integration of AR is therefore proposed until further studies elucidating benefits and risks can be undertaken.

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