To develop and assess the validity of an evaluation tool to quantitatively assess the capsulorhexis portion of cataract surgery performed by residents.
University of California at Los Angeles (UCLA), Department of Ophthalmology, Jules Stein Eye Institute, Los Angeles, California, USA.
Masked prospective case series.
Ophthalmology faculty members at UCLA were surveyed and literature was reviewed to develop a grading tool comprising 12 questions to evaluate surgical technique, including 4 from the Global Rating Assessment of Skills in Intraocular Surgery and 2 from the International Council of Ophthalmology's Ophthalmology Surgical Competency Assessment Rubric. Video clips of continuous curvilinear capsulorhexis (CCC) performed by 2 postgraduate year (PGY) 3 residents, 2 PGY 4 residents, and 2 advanced surgeons were independently graded in a masked fashion by a 7-member faculty panel.
Four questions had low interobserver variability and a significant correlation with surgical skill level (intraclass correlation coefficient >0.75; P<.05, analysis of variance; 42 observations). The 4 questions were visual Likert-scale questions grading flow of operation, set up for regrasp, commencement of flap and formation, and circular completion of the CCC.
Surgical performance can be validly measured using an evaluation tool. However, not all evaluation questions produced reliable results. The reliability and accuracy of the measurements appear to depend on the form and content of the question. Studies to optimize assessment tools identifying the best questions for evaluating each step of cataract surgery may help ophthalmic educators more precisely measure outcomes for improving teaching interventions.
No author has a financial or proprietary interest in any material or method mentioned.