Background Surgical tasks are performed in a sequence of steps, and technical skill evaluation includes assessing task flow efficiency. Our objective was to describe differences in task flow for expert and novice surgeons for a basic surgical task. Methods We used a hierarchical semantic vocabulary to decompose and annotate maneuvers and gestures for 135 instances of a surgeon's knot performed by 18 surgeons. We compared counts of maneuvers and gestures, and analyzed task flow by skill level. Results Experts used fewer gestures to perform the task (26.29; 95% CI = 25.21 to 27.38 for experts vs. 31.30; 95% CI = 29.05 to 33.55 for novices) and made fewer errors in gestures than novices (1.00; 95% CI = 0.61 to 1.39 vs. 2.84; 95% CI = 2.3 to 3.37). Transitions among maneuvers, and among gestures within each maneuver for expert trials were more predictable than novice trials. Conclusions Activity segments and state flow transitions within a basic surgical task differ by surgical skill level, and can be used to provide targeted feedback to surgical trainees.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
- Agricultural and Biological Sciences(all)