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OBJECTIVES: Increasing patient demands, costs and emphasis on safety, coupled with reductions in the length of time surgical trainees spend in the operating theatre, necessitate means to improve the efficiency of surgical training. In this respect, feedback based on intraoperative surgical performance may be beneficial. Our aim was to systematically review the impact of intraoperative feedback based on surgical performance. SETTING: MEDLINE, Embase, PsycINFO, AMED and the Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews were searched. Two reviewers independently reviewed citations using predetermined inclusion and exclusion criteria. 32 data-points per study were extracted. PARTICIPANTS: The search strategy yielded 1531 citations. Three studies were eligible, which comprised a total of 280 procedures by 62 surgeons. RESULTS: Overall, feedback based on intraoperative surgical performance was found to be a powerful method for improving performance. In cholecystectomy, feedback led to a reduction in procedure time (p=0.022) and an improvement in economy of movement (p<0.001). In simulated laparoscopic colectomy, feedback led to improvements in instrument path length (p=0.001) and instrument smoothness (p=0.045). Feedback also reduced error scores in cholecystectomy (p=0.003), simulated laparoscopic colectomy (p<0.001) and simulated renal artery angioplasty (p=0.004). In addition, feedback improved balloon placement accuracy (p=0.041), and resulted in a smoother learning curve and earlier plateau in performance in simulated renal artery angioplasty. CONCLUSIONS: Intraoperative feedback appears to be associated with an improvement in performance, however, there is a paucity of research in this area. Further work is needed in order to establish the long-term benefits of feedback and the optimum means and circumstances of feedback delivery.

Original publication




Journal article


Bmj open

Publication Date





Feedback, Quality improvement, performance, Angioplasty, Balloon, Clinical Competence, Digestive System Surgical Procedures, Efficiency, Feedback, General Surgery, Humans, Internship and Residency, Laparoscopy, Medical Errors, Operative Time, Teaching