Table of Contents
ISRN Minimally Invasive Surgery
Volume 2013 (2013), Article ID 686494, 5 pages
Research Article

Objective versus Subjective Assessment of Laparoscopic Skill

1Department of Surgery, VU University Medical Centre, P.O. Box 7057, 1007 MB Amsterdam, The Netherlands
2Department of Medical Psychology, University of Amsterdam, P.O. Box 19268, 1000 GG Amsterdam, The Netherlands
3Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, VU University Medical Centre, P.O. Box 7057, 1007 MB Amsterdam, The Netherlands
4Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, Sint Lucas Andreas Hospital, P.O. Box 9243, 1006 AE Amsterdam, The Netherlands

Received 25 May 2013; Accepted 13 June 2013

Academic Editors: F. Agresta, M. Barczyński, and Y. Izci

Copyright © 2013 Pieter J. van Empel et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Background. The equality of subjective- and objective-assessment methods in laparoscopic surgery are unknown. The aim of this study was to compare a subjective assessment method to an objective assessment method to evaluate laparoscopic skill. Methods. A prospective observational cohort study was conducted. Seventy-two residents completed a basic laparoscopic suturing task on a box trainer at two consecutive assessment points. Laparoscopic skill was rated subjectively using the Objective Structured Assessment of Technical Skills (OSATS) list and objectively using the TrEndo, an augmented-reality simulator. Results. TrEndo scores between the two assessment points correlated. OSATS scores did not correlate between the two assessment points. There was a correlation between TrEndo and OSATS scores at the first assessment point, but not at the second assessment point. Overall, OSATS scores correlated with TrEndo scores. There was a greater spread within OSATS scores compared to TrEndo scores. Conclusion. OSATS scores correlated with TrEndo scores. The TrEndo may be more responsive at rating individual’s laparoscopic skill, as demonstrated by a smaller overall spread in TrEndo scores. The additional value of objective assessment methods over conventional assessment methods as provided by laparoscopic simulators should be investigated.