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Surgical Endoscopy

, Volume 22, Issue 1, pp 107–111 | Cite as

Constructing hierarchical task analysis in surgery

  • Sudip K. SarkerEmail author
  • Avril Chang
  • Tark Albrani
  • Charles Vincent
Article

Abstract

Background

Generic technical skills are required by a surgeon to perform a complete operation or procedure. They alone do not form a task or subtask but allow the surgeon to perform so. Specific technical skills are required to complete a task or subtask, which can be depicted by hierarchical task analysis (HTA). In this study we aim to demonstrate a reliable and valid method to construct a surgical HTA.

Methods

One hundred thirty video recordings of operations and procedures (30 laparoscopic cholecystectomies, 20 open inguinal hernia repairs, 20 saphenofemoral junction ligations, 20 upper GI and 40 lower GI endoscopies) from 37 different expert surgeons were assessed in view of constructing a HTA. Three research surgeons with more than eight years of postgraduate surgical experience assessed each operation or procedure blindly and independently and constructed a HTA. Each consultant surgeon assessed the HTA constructed by the researchers and modified it according to his/her own technical style.

Results

For tasks there was a 100% correlation between the researchers and individual expert surgeons. Mean interrater reliability for subtasks was k = 0.89 (range = 0.81–0.95), p < 0.05. Content and face validities of the HTA were confirmed by the expert surgeons.

Conclusions

This study outlines a valid and reliable method of constructing a surgical task analysis and HTA for any operation or procedure, which could be used to assess and evaluate trainees’ and expert surgeons’ specific technical skills.

Keywords

Assessment Analysis Hierarchical Surgery Task 

Notes

Acknowledgments

The authors thank the surgical, anesthetic, and nursing staff at the Imperial and Queen Mary’s College network of hospitals in West and East London for their help.

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2007

Authors and Affiliations

  • Sudip K. Sarker
    • 1
    Email author
  • Avril Chang
    • 2
  • Tark Albrani
    • 3
  • Charles Vincent
    • 4
  1. 1.Academic Surgery UnitRoyal Free HospitalLondonUnited Kingdom
  2. 2.Academic Surgery UnitKing’s College HospitalLondonUnited Kingdom
  3. 3.Academic Surgery UnitQueen Mary’s College LondonLondonUnited Kingdom
  4. 4.Academic Surgery UnitImperial College LondonLondonUnited Kingdom

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