Background: Endobronchial ultrasound (EBUS) is a revolutionary diagnostic procedure. There is currently no accepted method of assessing EBUS technical skill or competency.
Objectives: This study aimed to validate a computer EBUS simulator in differentiating between operators of varying clinical EBUS experience.
Methods: A convenience sample (n = 22) of bronchoscopists was separated into four cohorts based on previous bronchoscopy experience: group A = novice bronchoscopists, no EBUS experience (n = 4), group B = expert bronchoscopists, no EBUS experience (n = 5), group C = basic clinical EBUS training (n = 9), group D = EBUS experts (n = 4). After a standardized introduction session on the EBUS simulator, participants performed 2 simulated cases on an EBUS simulator with performance metrics measured by the simulator.
Results: Significant differences between groups were noted for total procedure time, percentage of lymph nodes identified and percentage of successful biopsies (p < 0.05, ANOVA). Group D performed significantly better than all other groups for total procedure time and percentage of lymph nodes identified (p < 0.05). Group C performed significantly better than groups A and B for total procedure time, percentage of lymph nodes identified and percentage of successful biopsies (p < 0.05, ANOVA).
Conclusions: An EBUS simulator can accurately discriminate between operators with different levels of clinical EBUS experience. EBUS simulators show promise as a tool for assessing training and evaluating competency.
Copyright © 2011 S. Karger AG, Basel.