Video-based coaching in surgical education: a systematic review and meta-analysis

  • Knut Magne AugestadEmail author
  • Khayam Butt
  • Dejan Ignjatovic
  • Deborah S. Keller
  • Ravi Kiran
Review Article



In the era of competency-based surgical education, VBC has gained increased attention and may enhance the efficacy of surgical education. The objective of this systematic review was to summarize the existing evidence of video-based coaching (VBC) and compare VBC to traditional master-apprentice-based surgical education.


We performed a systematic review and meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials (RCT) assessing VBC according to the PRISMA and Cochrane guidelines. The MEDLINE, EMBASE, and COCHRANE and Researchgate databases were searched for eligible manuscripts. Standard mean difference (SMD) of performance scoring scales was used to assess the effect of VBC versus traditional training without VBC (control).


Of 627 studies identified, 24 RCTs were eligible and evaluated. The studies included 778 surgical trainees (n = 386 VBC vs. n = 392 control). 13 performance scoring scales were used to assess technical competence; OSATS-GRS was the most common (n = 15). VBC was provided preoperative (n = 11), intraoperative (n = 1), postoperative (n = 10), and perioperative (n = 2). The majority of studies were unstructured, where identified coaching frameworks were PRACTICE (n = 1), GROW (n = 2) and Wisconsin Coaching Framework (n = 1). There was an effect on performance scoring scales in favor of VBC coaching (SMD 0.87, p < 0.001). In subgroup analyses, the residents had a larger relative effect (SMD 1.13; 0.61–1.65, p < 0.001) of VBC compared to medical students (SMD 0.43, 0.06–0.81, p < 0.001). The greatest source of potential bias was absence of blinding of the participants and personnel (n = 20).


Video-based coaching increases technical performance of medical students and surgical residents. There exist significant study and intervention heterogeneity that warrants further exploration, showing the need to structure and standardize video-based coaching tools.


Surgical training Surgical education Video-based coaching (VBC) OSATS GOALS 



Master-apprentice model


VBC coaching


Standard mean difference



We thank Dr Alameddine for providing additional unpublished data to the survey.

Author contributions

KMA had full access to all the data in the study and takes responsibility for the integrity of the data and the accuracy of the data analysis. Study concept and design: KMA, KB, DI, DSK, RK. Acquisition, analysis, or interpretation of data: KMA, KB, DSK. Drafting of the manuscript: KMA. Critical revision of the manuscript for important intellectual content: All authors. Statistical analysis: KMA. Administrative, technical, or material support: KMA, RK. Study supervision: RK.


No external funding.

Compliance with ethical standards


Drs. Augestad, Butt, Ignjatovic, Keller and Kiran have no conflicts of interest or financial ties to disclose.

Supplementary material

464_2019_7265_MOESM1_ESM.doc (63 kb)
Supplementary material 1 (DOC 63 kb)
464_2019_7265_MOESM2_ESM.doc (72 kb)
Supplementary material 2 (DOC 72 kb)
464_2019_7265_MOESM3_ESM.csv (242 kb)
Supplementary material 3 (CSV 242 kb)


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Postgraduate Surgical EducationUniversity Hospital North NorwayTromsöNorway
  2. 2.Department of GI SurgerySandnessjøen Regional HospitalSandnessjøenNorway
  3. 3.Division of Colorectal SurgeryColumbia University Medical CenterNew YorkUSA
  4. 4.Department of GI SurgeryNordlandssykehusetBodøNorway
  5. 5.Department of GI SurgeryAkershus University HospitalOsloNorway
  6. 6.Institute of Clinical MedicineUniversity of OsloOsloNorway

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