Twelve surgeons with varying experience in laparoscopic suturing undertook three sutures in a laparoscopic trainer under three conditions: quiet, noise at 80 to 85 dB, and music. Other than the test conditions, all other conditions were standardized. A validated motion analysis system was used to assess performance. The tasks were recorded by video and played back to two blinded observers who rated the surgeons’ performance on a global rating scale by observing the tasks for accuracy, knot quality, and number of nonpurposeful movements.
In this experiment, neither noise nor music had any significant effect on the technical dexterity, performance, or accuracy skills of a surgeon. While noise was determined not to interfere with the performance of those who participated in the study, noise has been reported to negatively interfere with communication, concentration, and the performance of noise-sensitive individuals.
The experiments were conducted under controlled laboratory conditions and did not truly replicate the simultaneous or consequent stressor conditions in the OR. Further, surgeons participating in the study were not surveyed regarding their preference or reaction to the conditions.