Objective classification of residents based on their psychomotor laparoscopic skills

MK Chmarra, Stefan Klein, JCF de Winter, FW Jansen, J Dankelman

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87 Citations (Scopus)


From the clinical point of view, it is important to recognize residents' level of expertise with regard to basic psychomotor skills. For that reason, surgeons and surgical organizations (e.g., Acreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education, ACGME) are calling for assessment tools that credential residents as technically competent. Currently, no method is universally accepted or recommended for classifying residents as "experienced," "intermediates," or "novices" according to their technical abilities. This study introduces a classification method for recognizing residents' level of experience in laparoscopic surgery based on psychomotor laparoscopic skills alone. For this study, 10 experienced residents (> 100 laparoscopic procedures performed), 10 intermediates (10-100 procedures performed), and 11 novices (no experience) performed four tasks in a box trainer. The movements of the laparoscopic instruments were recorded with the TrEndo tracking system and analyzed using six motion analysis parameters (MAPs). The MAPs of all participants were submitted to principal component analysis (PCA), a data reduction technique. The scores of the first principal components were used to perform linear discriminant analysis (LDA), a classification method. Performance of the LDA was examined using a leave-one-out cross-validation. Of 31 participants, 23 were classified correctly with the proposed method, with 7 categorized as experienced, 7 as intermediates, and 9 as novices. The proposed method provides a means to classify residents objectively as experienced, intermediate, or novice surgeons according to their basic laparoscopic skills. Due to the simplicity and generalizability of the introduced classification method, it is easy to implement in existing trainers.
Original languageUndefined/Unknown
Pages (from-to)1031-1039
Number of pages9
JournalSurgical Endoscopy-Ultrasound and Interventional Techniques
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 2010

Research programs

  • EMC NIHES-03-30-03

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