The Use of Entrustable Professional Activities in Pediatric Postgraduate Medical Education: A Systematic Review

Acad Pediatr. 2021 Jul 10;S1876-2859(21)00359-4. doi: 10.1016/j.acap.2021.07.007. Online ahead of print.


Background: Entrustable Professional Activities (EPAs) provide a framework to make judgments of trainees' abilities in several settings including postgraduate medical education. No systematic review of the role of EPAs in pediatrics has yet been performed.

Objectives: In our systematic review, we sought to determine the use of EPAs in pediatrics to identify research gaps, summarize and discuss evidence relating to the development, implementation and assessment.

Data sources: Medline, Scopus, PsycINFO, MedEdPortal and Web of Science STUDY ELIGIBILITY CRITERIA: Two independent reviewers used a structured screening protocol in accordance with PRISMA guidelines and AMEE's guide for systematic reviews to include all articles reporting on EPAs in postgraduate medical education and pediatrics in particular. There were no restrictions due to language, study design or participants.

Study appraisal and synthesis methods: Data on development, implementation, feasibility, acceptance, and assessment of EPAs was extracted and analyzed by the two independent researchers.

Results: 28 articles published between 2014 and 2020 were included in the review. We found an increase in publications and a notable shift from descriptions of development processes towards aspects beyond development, i.e., implementation, feasibility, acceptance/perception, and assessment.

Limitations: Studies from non-English speaking countries are scarce which might lead to an inaccurate representation of actual international practice.

Conclusions and implications of key findings: We provide a comprehensive overview of EPAs in pediatrics to guide future curriculum developers in collaborative development, implementation and assessment of EPAs in pediatric Postgraduate Medical Education.

Systematic review registration number: CRD42020180696 (PROSPERO).

Keywords: Clinical Competence/standards; Competency Based Education; Education, Medical, Graduate; Internship and Residency; Pediatrics.

Publication types

  • Review