The aim of this study was to evaluate whether an assessment exercise performed on a laparoscopic trainer model reliably reflects previous laparoscopic experience and can therefore be used to accurately assess laparoscopic skills in surgical trainees. Subjects were recruited from a cross-section of surgical trainees and students at the Great Ormond Street Hospital for Children and the Institute of Child Health. Subjects were required to complete a baseline laparoscopic surgical skills questionnaire and an exercise on a new laparoscopic trainer model. Nine subjects completed both the baseline questionnaire and the exercise. These subjects exhibited a wide range of previous experience in laparoscopic surgery. Subjects with higher self-assessment scores had the lowest exercise scores (i.e. better scores; P=0.003). Furthermore, the exercise score was strongly negatively correlated with the baseline number of training modalities received (P=0.007) and the laparoscopic experience score (P=0.027). The assessment exercise on a novel laparoscopic trainer was capable of differentiating between subjects with little laparoscopic experience and those with more extensive previous laparoscopic training. The correlation between the exercise score and measured baseline variables suggests that the scoring system used in this model is sensitive and specific to measuring skills relevant to laparoscopic surgery.
- Laparoscopic skills
- Surgical skills training