BACKGROUND: Validated competency assessment tools and the data supporting milestone development during gastroscopy training are lacking. We aimed to assess the validity of the formative direct observation of procedural skills (DOPS) assessment tool in diagnostic gastroscopy and study competency development using DOPS.
METHODS: This was a prospective multicentre (N = 275) analysis of formative gastroscopy DOPS assessments. Internal structure validity was tested using exploratory factor analysis and reliability estimated using generalisability theory. Item and global DOPS scores were stratified by lifetime procedure count to define learning curves, using a threshold determined from receiver operator characteristics (ROC) analysis. Multivariable binary logistic regression analysis was performed to identify independent predictors of DOPS competence.
RESULTS: In total, 10086 DOPS were submitted for 987 trainees. Exploratory factor analysis identified three distinct item groupings, representing 'pre-procedure', 'technical', and 'post-procedure non-technical' skills. From generalisability analyses, sources of variance in overall DOPS scores included trainee ability (31%), assessor stringency (8%), assessor subjectivity (18%), and trainee case-to-case variation (43%). The combination of three assessments from three assessors was sufficient to achieve the reliability threshold of 0.70. On ROC analysis, a mean score of 3.9 provided optimal sensitivity and specificity for determining competency. This threshold was attained in the order of 'pre-procedure' (100-124 procedures), 'technical' (150-174 procedures), 'post-procedure non-technical' skills (200-224 procedures), and global competency (225-249 procedures). Higher lifetime procedure count, DOPS count, surgical trainees and assessors, higher trainee seniority, and lower case difficulty were significant multivariable predictors of DOPS competence.
CONCLUSION: This study establishes milestones for competency acquisition during gastroscopy training and provides validity and reliability evidence to support gastroscopy DOPS as a competency assessment tool.
- Formative assessment