Document Type


Publication Date


Publication Title

PLoS One


BACKGROUND: Robotic surgery presents a challenge to effective teamwork and communication in the operating theatre (OR). Our objective was to evaluate the effect of using a wireless audio headset device on communication, efficiency and patient outcome in robotic surgery.

METHODS AND FINDINGS: A prospective controlled trial of team members participating in gynecologic and urologic robotic procedures between January and March 2015. In the first phase, all surgeries were performed without headsets (control), followed by the intervention phase where all team members used the wireless headsets. Noise levels were measured during both phases. After each case, all team members evaluated the quality of communication, performance, teamwork and mental load using a validated 14-point questionnaire graded on a 1-10 scale. Higher overall scores indicated better communication and efficiency. Clinical and surgical data of all patients in the study were retrieved, analyzed and correlated with the survey results. The study included 137 procedures, yielding 843 questionnaires with an overall response rate of 89% (843/943). Self-reported communication quality was better in cases where headsets were used (113.0 ± 1.6 vs. 101.4 ± 1.6; p < .001). Use of headsets reduced the percentage of time with a noise level above 70 dB at the console (8.2% ± 0.6 vs. 5.3% ± 0.6, p < .001), but had no significant effect on length of surgery nor postoperative complications.

CONCLUSIONS: The use of wireless headset devices improved quality of communication between team members and reduced the peak noise level in the robotic OR.

PubMed ID






First Page


Last Page




To view the content in your browser, please download Adobe Reader or, alternately,
you may Download the file to your hard drive.

NOTE: The latest versions of Adobe Reader do not support viewing PDF files within Firefox on Mac OS and if you are using a modern (Intel) Mac, there is no official plugin for viewing PDF files within the browser window.