BACKGROUND: Recently, studies have focused on how to optimize laparoscopic surgical workspace by changes in intra-abdominal pressure, level of muscle relaxation or body position, typically evaluated by surgeons using subjective rating scales. We aimed to validate two rating scales by having surgeons assess surgical workspace in video sequences recorded during laparoscopic surgery.
METHOD: Video sequences were obtained from laparoscopic procedures. Eight experienced surgeons assessed the video sequences on a categorical 5-point scale and a numerical 10-point rating scale. Intraclass correlations coefficients (ICC) and 95% confidence intervals (CI) were calculated for intra- and inter-rater reliability.
RESULTS: The 5-point rating scale had an intra-rater ICC of 0.76 (0.69; 0.83) and an inter-rater ICC of 0.57 (0.45; 0.68), corresponding to excellent and fair reliability, respectively. The 10-point scale had an intra-rater ICC of 0.86 (0.82; 0.89) and an inter-rater ICC of 0.54 (0.39; 0.68), corresponding to excellent and fair as well. All surgeons used the full range of the 5-point scale, but only one surgeon used the full range of the 10-point scale.
CONCLUSION: In conclusion, both scales showed excellent intra-rater and fair inter-rater reliability for assessing surgical workspace in laparoscopy. The 5-point surgical rating scale had all categories employed by all surgeons.