Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland
Perceptions and experiences of simulation-based assessment of technical skill in surgery- A scoping review.pdf (607.69 kB)

Perceptions and experiences of simulation-based assessment of technical skill in surgery: a scoping review

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journal contribution
posted on 2024-03-14, 16:35 authored by Conor Toale, Marie MorrisMarie Morris, Dara KavanaghDara Kavanagh

Introduction: The introduction of simulation-based assessment raises questions as to its role in trainee selection, progression, certification and credentialing. This study sought to review and critique the available research regarding the perceptions and experiences of residents and their trainers towards simulation-based assessment of technical skills in surgery.

Methods: A comprehensive literature review of the Medline (PubMed), Embase, Cochrane and Web of Science databases was performed in accordance with the Joanna Briggs Institute 2020 protocol for scoping reviews in July 2020, for all original research articles, abstracts and conference proceedings assessing the attitudes, perceptions, opinions and experiences of residents and surgical trainers toward simulation-based assessment of technical or operative skill.

Results: A total of 1869 studies were identified on database searching. Quantitative, qualitative and mixed-methodology publications reporting the attitudes and experiences of surgical trainers and residents were identified, with 21 articles ultimately meeting the inclusion criteria for (qualitative) thematic analysis. Results were charted and categorized into broad themes: 1) Perceptions of simulation-based assessment in principle, 2) Entrustment, 3) Credentialing and certification, and 4) Resident selection and recruitment, identifying both positive perceptions and key areas of concern from residents and trainers alike regarding the current and future application of simulation-based assessment.

Conclusion: There is broadly positive agreement amongst residents and surgical trainers in the published literature regarding the validity of simulation-based assessment. Perceptions of the broader application and implications of simulation-based skill assessment has been identified as a gap in the literature. Future studies should aim to record comprehensive data from key stakeholders prior to implementation of a simulation-based assessment curriculum to ensure acceptability.


University of Medicine and Health Sciences, Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland/Hermitage Medical Clinic Strategic Academic Recruitment (StAR MD) programme



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Published Citation

Toale C, Morris M, Kavanagh D. Perceptions and experiences of simulation-based assessment of technical skill in surgery: a scoping review. Am J Surg. 2021;222(4):723-730.

Publication Date

6 April 2021

PubMed ID



  • Surgical Affairs


Elsevier Inc


  • Published Version (Version of Record)