For doctors dealing with life-threatening emergencies during endoscopy, the management of stress is crucial, but poorly understood. Using virtual reality, Dr. Philip Levine, a gastroenterology fellow at Baylor College of Medicine, Houston, Texas, and his colleagues presented a study at Digestive Disease Week® about how stress effects the performance of gastrointestinal procedures by trainees, as well as the relationship between specific body movements and procedure performance.

They placed motion sensors on the hands, forearms and foreheads of trainees performing endoscopy on a virtual reality simulator and examined how performance related to reported levels of stress. As trainees experienced more stress, they decreased the velocity and acceleration of their arm and hand movements, suggesting less motion and decreased range of movement.

In a blog post on Gastroenterology and Endoscopy News, Dr. Levine discusses findings from his research and how understanding the changes caused by stress is an important first step to help trainees better cope with emergency situations, both early and late in their careers.

Dr. Levine presented data from the study “Use of wearable sensors to assess stress response in endoscopy training” abstract 764, and “Use of wearable sensors to assess biomechanical learning patterns in endoscopy training,” abstract 764, on Monday, June 4, at 4:30 p.m. EDT, at the Walter E. Washington Convention Center in Washington, D.C.