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Re-defining the virtual reality dental simulator: demonstrating concurrent validity of clinically relevant assessment and feedback

Dixon, Jonathan, Towers, Ashley, Martin, Nicolas and Field, James ORCID: 2021. Re-defining the virtual reality dental simulator: demonstrating concurrent validity of clinically relevant assessment and feedback. European Journal of Dental Education 25 (1) , pp. 108-116. 10.1111/eje.12581

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Introduction: Virtual reality (VR) dental simulators are gaining momentum as a useful tool to educate dental students. To date, no VR dental simulator exercise has been designed which is capable of reliably providing validated, meaningful clinical feedback to dental students. This study aims to measure the concurrent validity of the assessment, and the provision of qualitative feedback, pertaining to cavity preparations by VR dental simulators. Methods: A cavity preparation exercise was created on a VR dental simulator, and assessment criteria for cavity preparations were developed. The exercise was performed 10 times in order to demonstrate a range of performances and for each, the simulator feedback was recorded. The exercises were subsequently three‐dimensionally printed and 12 clinical teachers were asked to assess the preparations according to the same criteria. Inter‐rater reliability (IRR) between clinical teachers was measured using a free‐marginal multirater kappa value. Clinical teacher assessment responses were compared with the VR simulator responses and percentage agreements calculated. Results: IRR values for each exercise ranged from 0.39‐0.77 (69.39‐88.48%). The assessment of smoothness (κfree0.58, 78.79%) and ability to follow the outline (κfree0.56, 77.88%) demonstrated highest agreement between clinical teachers, whilst the assessment of undercut (κfree0.15, 57.58%) and depth (κfree 0.28, 64.09%) had the lowest agreement. The modal percentage agreement between clinical teachers and the VR simulator was, on average, 78% across all exercises. Conclusion: The results of this study demonstrate that it is possible to provide reliable and clinically relevant qualitative feedback via a VR dental simulator. Further research should look to employ this technique across a broader range of exercises that help to develop other complex operative dental skills.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: Dentistry
Publisher: Wiley
ISSN: 1396-5883
Date of First Compliant Deposit: 14 August 2020
Date of Acceptance: 14 July 2020
Last Modified: 06 May 2023 02:53

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