Comparative usability testing of conventional and single incision laparoscopic surgery devices

Bernadette McCrory, Bethany R. Lowndes, Chad A. Lagrange, Emily E. Miller, M. Susan Hallbeck

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Scopus citations


Objective: The objective was to perform competitive usability testing to assess the user experience of conventional laparoscopic and laparoendoscopic single-site surgery (LESS) devices. Background: Recent advancements in single-incision instrumentation have created more interest in and usage of LESS. However, neither LESS nor its novel multichannel access devices have been thoroughly studied. Method: Using a simulation test bed and standardized laparoscopic surgery task, the user experience of three commercially available LESS devices was compared to conventional laparoscopic ports based on time on task, errors, task success, and perceived ease of use. Results: There were no significant differences between devices for time on task, errors, or task success (p > .05). For all devices, there were significantly more recoverable than unrecoverable errors, and errors occurred more frequently during the second phase of the task when the dominant hand was more active (p < .0001). Conventional laparoscopy was rated as easier to use than were the LESS devices (p < .01). Conclusion: Device performance of a basic laparoscopic task was similar in both conventional laparoscopy and LESS. Each of the LESS devices facilitated efficient and accurate aiming and grasping movements compared to conventional laparoscopy. Further investigation of human factors and ergonomics of LESS is needed to further develop, evaluate, and refine single-site surgery technologies to create a user experience equivalent to conventional laparoscopy. Application: Competitive usability testing of medical devices yields objective performance data that can be used to inform purchase decisions and future device design improvements.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)619-631
Number of pages13
JournalHuman Factors
Issue number3
StatePublished - Jun 2013


  • LESS
  • competitive usability testing
  • ergonomics
  • errors
  • performance
  • simulation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Human Factors and Ergonomics
  • Applied Psychology
  • Behavioral Neuroscience


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