Determining the Role of a National Objective Assessment of Surgical Skills in Gynecological Oncology: An e-Delphi Methodology

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Abstract

Objective

The aim of this study is to determine a national consensus on the role of an objective assessment of technical surgical skills in gynecological oncology (GO).

Methods

After approval was obtained from Society of Gynecologic Oncology of Canada, A panel of 20 GO leaders was assembled, representing all GO fellowship programs, and was asked to participate in an anonymous group and respond to an online 49-item questionnaire using a modified Delphi methodology.

Results

Ninety-five percent (n = 19) of those invited to participate did so. Seventeen of the panelists (89.5%) believed there was no sufficiently standardized technical skills assessment for GO fellows, whereas 18 responders (95%) believed that fellows should be objectively assessed on more than 1 occasion during their training. Consensus was predefined as Cronbach α greater than 0.8. The panel agreed on what procedures should be objectively assessed with a Cronbach α of 0.967. An overall Cronbach α of 0.993 was achieved after a single Delphi round.

Conclusions

We achieved consensus on the possible components and logistics of a skills assessment process among a group of highly experienced GO trainers in Canada. This study provides the basis for further investigation and debate on the potential value, necessity, and feasibility of an assessment of advanced surgical and nonsurgical skills of GO trainees.

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