Impact of a national basic skills in colonoscopy course on trainee performance: an interrupted time series analysis

Keith Siau, James Hodson, John T Anderson , Roland Valori, Geoff Smith, Paul Hagan, Marietta Iacucci, Paul Dunckley

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BACKGROUND The Joint Advisory Group on Gastrointestinal Endoscopy basic skills in colonoscopy (BSC) course was introduced in 2009 to improve colonoscopy training within the United Kingdom, but its impact on trainee performance is unknown. AIM To assess whether attendance of the BSC could improve colonoscopy performance.

METHODS Trainees awarded colonoscopy certification between 2011-2016 were stratified into 3 groups according to pre-course procedure count (< 70, 70-140 and > 140). Study outcomes, comprising the unassisted caecal intubation rate (CIR) and the performance indicator of colonic intubation (PICI), were studied over the 50 procedures pre and post- course. Interrupted time series analyses were performed to detect step-change changes attributable to the course.

RESULTS A total of 369 trainees with pre-course procedure counts of < 70 (n = 118), 70-140 (n = 121) and > 140 (n = 130) were included. Over the 50 pre-course procedures, significant linear improvements in CIR were found, with average increases of 4.2, 3.6 and 1.7 percentage points (pp) per 10 procedures performed in the < 70, 70-140 and > 140 groups respectively (all P < 0.001). The < 70 procedures group saw a significant step-change improvement in CIR, increasing from 46% in the last pre-course procedure, to 51% in the first procedure post-course (P = 0.005). The CIR step-change was not significant in the 70-140 (68% to 71%; P = 0.239) or > 140 (86% to 87%; P = 0.354) groups. For PICI, significant step-change improvements were seen in all three groups, with average increases of 5.6 pp (P < 0.001), 5.4 pp (P = 0.003) and 3.9 pp (P = 0.014) respectively.

CONCLUSION Attendance of the BSC was associated with a significant step-change improvement in PICI, regardless of prior procedural experience. However, CIR data suggest that the optimal timing of course attendance appears to be at earlier stages of training (< 70 procedures).

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)3283-3292
Number of pages10
JournalWorld Journal of Gastroenterology
Issue number23
Publication statusPublished - 21 Jun 2020


  • Colonoscopy
  • Competency development
  • Course
  • Endoscopy
  • Skills
  • Training

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Gastroenterology


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