Self-assessment in laparoscopic surgical skills training: Is it reliable?

Sandeep Ganni*, Magda Chmarra, Richard Goossens, Jack Jakimowicz

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

25 Citations (Scopus)
40 Downloads (Pure)


Background: The concept of self-assessment has been widely acclaimed for its role in the professional development cycle and self-regulation. In the field of medical education, self-assessment has been most used to evaluate the cognitive knowledge of students. The complexity of training and evaluation in laparoscopic surgery has previously acted as a barrier in determining the benefits self-assessment has to offer in comparison with other fields of medical education. Methods: Thirty-five surgical residents who attended the 2-day Laparoscopic Surgical Skills Grade 1 Level 1 curriculum were invited to participate from The Netherlands, India and Romania. The competency assessment tool (CAT) for laparoscopic cholecystectomy was used for self- and expert-assessment and the resulting distributions assessed. Results: A comparison between the expert- and self-assessed aggregates of scores from the CAT agreed with previous studies. Uniquely to this study, the aggregates of individual sub-categories—‘use of instruments’; ‘tissue handling’; and errors ‘within the component tasks’ and the ‘end product’ from both self- and expert-assessments—were investigated. There was strong positive correlation (rs > 0.5; p < 0.001) between the expert- and self-assessment in all categories with only the ‘tissue handling’ having a weaker correlation (rs = 0.3; p = 0.04). The distribution of the mean of the differences between self-assessment and expert-assessment suggested no significant difference between the scores of experts and the residents in all categories except the ‘end product’ evaluation where the difference was significant (W = 119, p = 0.03). Conclusion: Self-assessment using the CAT form gives results that are consistently not different from expert-assessment when assessing one’s proficiency in surgical skills. Areas where there was less agreement could be explained by variations in the level of training and understanding of the assessment criteria.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2451-2456
Number of pages6
JournalSurgical Endoscopy and Other Interventional Techniques
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 2017
Event23rd EAES International Congress - Bucharest, Romania
Duration: 3 Jun 20156 Jun 2015


  • Evaluation
  • Expert-assessment
  • Laparoscopic cholecystectomy
  • Laparoscopic skills
  • Self-assessment
  • Training


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