Background: Primary data on training experiences of European gynaecological oncology trainees are lacking. This study aims to evaluate trainee profile, satisfaction and factors affecting the training experience in gynaecological oncology in Europe.
Patients and methods: A web-based anonymous survey sent to ENYGO members/trainees in July 2011. It included sociodemographic information and a 22-item (1-5 Likert scale) questionnaire evaluating training experience in gynaecological oncology. Chi-square tests were used for evaluating the independence of categorical variables and t-test (parametric)/Mann-Whitney (non-parametric) tests for differences between two independent groups on continuous data. Cluster analysis was used to identify groupings in multivariate data and Cronbach's-alpha for questionnaire reliability. A multivariable linear regression model was used to assess the effect of variables on training satisfaction.
Results: One hundred and nineteen gynaecological-oncology trainees from 31 countries responded. The mean age was 37.4 (S.D, 5.3) years and 55.5% were in accredited training posts. Two clusters identified in the cohort (Calinski-Harabasz, CH = 47.35) differed mainly by accredited training (P = 0.003). The training-satisfaction score (TSS) had high reliability (Cronbach's alpha, 0.951) and was significantly associated with accredited posts (P < 0.0005), years of training (P = 0.001) and salary (P = 0.002). The TSS was independent of age (P = 0.360), working hours (P = 0.620), overtime-pay (P = 0.318), annual leave (P = 0.933), gender (P = 0.545) and marital status (P = 0.731). Accredited programme trainees scored significantly higher than others in 17 of 22 aspects of training. The areas of greater need included advanced laparoscopic/urological/colorectal surgery, radiation oncology, palliative-care, cancer genetics and research opportunities.
Conclusions: Our data demonstrate the importance of accredited training and the need for harmonisation of gynaecological oncology training within Europe.