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European UrologyVolume 47, issue 4, pages 427-568, April 2005
Skill Assessment of Urological Laparoscopic Surgeons: Can Criterion Levels of Surgical Performance Be Determined Using the Pelvic Box Trainer?
Accepted 15 December 2004, Published online 1 January 2005, pages 482 - 487
To correlate between surgeons’ experience in urological laparoscopy and their performance of a set of laparoscopic tasks performed on a box trainer in the laparoscopic laboratory.
44 urologists participated in this study. A self-administrated questionnaire enquired about their experience in laparoscopy and they were divided to 4 categories: no experience, minimal experience, basic and advanced laparoscopists. Tests consisted of 4 tasks: passage of a ligature, intracorporeal knotting, intracorporeal suturing, and cutting a carton circle out of a square. All tests were supervised and time was recorded for each of the tasks. Histograms were plotted showing the mean time for performance of each task in each experience group. The Kruskal–Wallis analysis of variance was used to assess statistical significance.
Seven participants had no previous experience in laparoscopy and 14 had minimal experience. 15 had basic experience and 8 were advanced laparoscopists. No difference in performance was found between the no experience and minimal experience group and they were united and defined as beginners. A significant difference in performance was noted between the beginners, basic and advanced groups, especially when comparing beginners to advanced. Criterion level values of surgical performance drawn from this data were highly discriminative with sensitivity of 71–85% and specificity of 74.2%–88%.
We were able to differentiate between various levels of laparoscopic skills among the participating urologists. Values drawn from such studies could be the basis of criterion level values for technical laparoscopic performance during training programs and before granting laparoscopic privileges to urologists.
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