A novel assessment tool for evaluating competence in video-assisted thoracoscopic surgery lobectomy

29 Citations (Scopus)


BACKGROUND: Specific assessment tools can accelerate trainees' learning through structured feedback and ensure that trainees attain the knowledge and skills required to practice as competent, independent surgeons (competency-based surgical education). The objective was to develop an assessment tool for video-assisted thoracoscopic surgery (VATS) lobectomy by achieving consensus within an international group of VATS experts.

METHOD: The Delphi method was used as a structured process for collecting and distilling knowledge from a group of internationally recognized VATS experts. Opinions were obtained in an iterative process involving answering repeated rounds of questionnaires. Responses to one round were summarized and integrated into the next round of questionnaires until consensus was reached.

RESULTS: Thirty-one VATS experts were included and four Delphi rounds were conducted. The response rate for each round were 68.9% (31/45), 100% (31/31), 96.8% (30/31), and 93.3% (28/30) for the final round where consensus was reached. The first Delphi round contained 44 items and the final VATS lobectomy Assessment Tool (VATSAT) comprised eight items with rating anchors: (1) localization of tumor and other pathological tissue, (2) dissection of the hilum and veins, (3) dissection of the arteries, (4) dissection of the bronchus, (5) dissection of lymph nodes, (6) retrieval of lobe in bag, (7) respect for tissue and structures, and (8) technical skills in general.

CONCLUSION: A novel and dedicated assessment tool for VATS lobectomy was developed based on VATS experts' consensus. The VATSAT can support the learning of VATS lobectomy by providing structured feedback and help supervisors make the important decision of when trainees have acquired VATS lobectomy competencies for independent performance.

Original languageEnglish
JournalSurgical Endoscopy
Issue number10
Pages (from-to)4173-4182
Number of pages10
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2018


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