Evaluating structured assessment of anaesthesiologists' non-technical skills

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Non-technical skills (NTS) are essential for safe and efficient anaesthesia. Assessment instruments with appropriate validity evidence can be used to ensure that anaesthesiologists possess the NTS necessary to deliver high-standard patient care. The aims were to collect validity evidence using a contemporary validity framework for the assessment instrument Anaesthesiologists’ Non-Technical Skills in Denmark (ANTSdk) regarding response process and internal structure (including reliability), and to investigate the effect of rater training on these properties.


An explorative study was undertaken at the Danish Institute for Medical Simulation, Copenhagen, Denmark. In a 1-day session, using ANTSdk, a convenience sample of 19 anaesthesiologists rated trainee anaesthesiologists’ NTS in nine video-recorded simulation scenarios before and after a 3-h training session.


Response process evidence: participants considered ANTSdk useful and feasible for NTS assessment. Internal structure evidence: inter-rater reliability (single measures) largely expressed substantial agreement (ICC ≥ 0.55 and ICC ≥ 0.60 for pre- and post-training ratings respectively). Strong internal consistency of ratings was found (Spearman's correlation coefficient ≥ 0.82). Accuracy of participants’ ratings compared with reference ratings (± 1 scale point) was notable (76% and 78% for pre- and post-training ratings, respectively). The results indicate that the elements ‘Demonstrating self-awareness’, ‘Reassessing decisions’, ‘Assessing competencies’, and ‘Supporting others’ need more attention in future rater training.


The validity evidence collected on content, response process, and internal structure, suggests that ANTSdk is easy to use on video-recorded simulation scenarios, indicating that ANTSdk is a feasible instrument for NTS assessment during anaesthesia training.

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