Is formal training necessary for capsule endoscopy? The largest gastroenterology trainee study with controls

Dig Liver Dis. 2008 Apr;40(4):298-302. doi: 10.1016/j.dld.2007.11.022. Epub 2008 Feb 20.


Background: Little is known about the infrastructure to train gastroenterologists in capsule endoscopy. The level of capsule endoscopy exposure among trainees in the United Kingdom or Europe has also not been quantified.

Aims and methods: To assess the ability of 10 gastroenterology trainees with endoscopy experience to interpret 10 capsule endoscopy videos against five medical students, with an expert in capsule endoscopy as the gold standard. Parameters assessed included gastric emptying time, small bowel transit and the diagnosis made. A questionnaire survey assessed the level of capsule endoscopy exposure among United Kingdom trainees.

Results: Trainees were better at determining the gastric emptying time (p=0.013) and more likely to record true positives compared to the students (p=0.037). They were also less likely to record false positives (p=0.005) and more likely to reach the correct diagnosis (p=0.001, OR 3.6, CI 1.8-7.4). Our survey found that, 65% of trainees had prior exposure to capsule endoscopy but only 13% had done capsule endoscopy reporting. Sixty seven percent felt capsule endoscopy should be incorporated into their training.

Conclusion: This study has shown that prior endoscopic experience enables trainees to interpret capsule endoscopy more accurately than medical students. However, there is a demand for focussed training which would enable trainees to reliably interpret pathology on capsule endoscopy.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Capsule Endoscopy*
  • Clinical Competence*
  • Endoscopy / education
  • Gastroenterology / education*
  • Humans
  • Students, Medical
  • United Kingdom