Development of an objective evaluation tool to assess technical skill in laparoscopic colorectal surgery: a Delphi methodology

Am J Surg. 2011 Feb;201(2):251-9. doi: 10.1016/j.amjsurg.2010.01.031. Epub 2010 Sep 15.


Background: Laparoscopic colorectal surgery (LCS) is an advanced procedure for which no objective tools exist to assess technical skill. The aim of this study was to determine expert consensus regarding items required on a rating scale for LCS, using a Delphi technique.

Methods: Experts rated the substeps of LCS from 1 to 5. Responses were returned to the panel until consensus (Cronbach's α ≥ .80) was reached. Substeps that 80% of experts rated as ≥4 were included in the final instrument.

Results: Initially, α values were .81 for sigmoid colectomy, .77 for right (medial-to-lateral) colectomy, and .74 for the lateral-to-medial approach. In the second round, α values were .83 for medial-to-lateral right colectomy and .82 for lateral-to-medial colectomy.

Conclusions: The Delphi method allowed the determination of consensus regarding the essential steps to be included in a tool designed to measure technical competence in LCS.

MeSH terms

  • Clinical Competence*
  • Colectomy / education
  • Colectomy / methods*
  • Colectomy / standards*
  • Colon, Sigmoid / surgery
  • Colorectal Surgery / methods
  • Colorectal Surgery / standards
  • Consensus
  • Delphi Technique*
  • Expert Testimony*
  • Humans
  • Internship and Residency
  • Laparoscopy / standards*
  • Motor Skills
  • Task Performance and Analysis*