Global evaluative assessment of robotic skills: validation of a clinical assessment tool to measure robotic surgical skills

J Urol. 2012 Jan;187(1):247-52. doi: 10.1016/j.juro.2011.09.032. Epub 2011 Nov 17.


Purpose: We developed and validated a standardized assessment tool for robotic surgical skills, and report its usefulness, reliability and construct validity in a clinical setting.

Materials and methods: The Global Evaluative Assessment of Robotic Skills is a tool developed by deconstructing the fundamental elements of robotic surgical procedures in consultation with expert robotic surgeons. Surgical performance was assessed during robot-assisted laparoscopic prostatectomy on a 5-point anchored Likert scale across 6 domains. An overall performance score was derived by summing the ratings in each domain. Expert surgeons and postgraduate year 4 to 6 urology residents were evaluated to determine construct validity. Assessments were completed by the attending surgeon, a trained observer and the operator.

Results: A total of 29 evaluations of 25 trainees and 4 attending surgeons were completed. Experts scored significantly higher on the assessment than novice operators (p = 0.004). Postgraduate year 4 and 5 residents scored significantly lower than the expert group (p <0.05) while no difference was observed between mean performance scores of postgraduate year 6 trainees and attending surgeons (p >0.05). The internal consistency of the assessment tool was excellent (Cronbach's α = 0.90 to 0.93). The overall assessment score ICC among raters was 0.80 (95% CI 0.65-0.90).

Conclusions: The Global Evaluative Assessment of Robotic Skills is simple to administer and able to differentiate levels of robotic surgical expertise. This standardized assessment tool shows excellent consistency, reliability and validity. Further study is warranted to evaluate its usefulness for surgical education and the establishment of competency in robotic surgery.

Publication types

  • Validation Study

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Clinical Competence*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Internship and Residency*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Robotics / education*
  • Urologic Surgical Procedures / education*
  • Urology / education*