Send to

Choose Destination
World J Surg. 2004 Feb;28(2):142-6; discussion 146-7. Epub 2004 Jan 8.

Technical performance: relation between surgical dexterity and technical knowledge.

Author information

Department of Surgical Oncology and Technology, Imperial College of Science, Technology and Medicine, 10th Floor QEQM Wing, St. Mary's Hospital, W2 1NY London, UK.


Technical performance consists of surgical knowledge, judgment, and dexterity. Although assessment of surgical dexterity is now possible, assessing technical knowledge and its relation to dexterity has not been elucidated. Surgeons of varying experience were recruited to the skills laboratory to undertake three assessments: simple surgical dexterity (at 14 stations scored by motion analysis), an operating room equipment examination, and a novel error analysis. The scores were correlated, and p < 0.05 was deemed to be significant. Thirty surgeons were recruited; and construct validity was exhibited in all areas. Correlations were shown to exist between the two knowledge examinations (Spearman's rho = 0.39). Correlations existed between all dexterity task parameters and the equipment examination, whereas they existed for only 15 of the 28 parameters of the error examination and were always weaker. The stronger correlations between dexterity and instrument and operating room (OR) equipment reflect greater surgical experience and time spent in the OR. The weaker correlations between the error analysis and dexterity suggest that these skills are learned at different times. The identification of common surgical errors should be more formally taught to ensure greater uniformity.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for Springer
Loading ...
Support Center