Objective Assessment of Technical Skills in Otorhinolaryngology–Head and Neck Surgery Residents: A Systematic Review

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Abstract

Objectives

The primary goal is the indexation of validated methods used to assess surgical competency in otorhinolaryngology–head and neck surgery (ORL-HNS) residents. Secondary goals include assessment of the reliability and validity of these tools, as well as the documentation of specific procedures in ORL-HNS involved.

Data Sources

MEDBASE, OVID, Medline, CINAHL, and EBM, as well as the printed references, available through the Université de Montréal library.

Review Methods

The PRISMA method was used to review digital and printed databases. Publications were reviewed by 2 independent reviewers, and selected articles were fully analyzed to classify evaluation methods and categorize them by procedure and subspecialty of ORL-HNS involved. Reliability and validity were assessed and scored for each assessment tool.

Results

Through the review of 30 studies, 5 evaluation methods were described and validated to assess the surgical competency of ORL-HNS residents. The evaluation method most often described was the combined Global Rating Scale and Task-Specific Checklist tool. Reliability and validity for this tool were overall high; however, considerable data were unavailable. Eleven distinctive surgical procedures were studied, encompassing many subspecialties of ORL-HNS: facial plastics, general ear-nose-throat, laryngology, otology, pediatrics, and rhinology.

Conclusions

Although assessment tools have been developed for an array of surgical procedures, involving most ORL-HNS subspecialties, the use of combined checklists has been repeatedly validated in the literature and shown to be easily applicable in practice. It has been applied to many ORL-HNS procedures but not in oncologic surgery to date.

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