Training and assessment for colorectal surgery and appendicectomy– a systematic review

Peter Hertz, Søren Rattenborg, Tora R Haug, Kim Houlind, Lars Konge, Flemming Bjerrum

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review


Aim: There is currently an increased focus on competency-based training, in which training and assessment play a crucial role. The aim of this systematic review is to create an overview of hands-on training methods and assessment tools for appendicectomy and colon and rectal surgery procedures using either an open, laparoscopic or robot-assisted approach. Method: A systematic review of Medline, Embase, Cochrane and Scopus databases was conducted following the PRISMA guidelines. We conducted the last search on 9 March 2023. All published papers describing hands-on training, evaluation of performance data and development of assessment tools were eligible. The quality of studies and the validity evidence of assessment tools are reported. Results: Fifty-one studies were identified. Laparoscopic assessment tools are abundant, but the literature still lacks good-quality assessment tools for open appendicectomy, robotic colectomy and open rectal surgery. Overall, there is a lack of discussion regarding the establishment of pass/fail standards and the consequences of assessment. Virtual reality simulation is used more for appendicectomy than colorectal procedures. Only a few of the studies investigating training were of acceptable quality. There is a need for high-quality studies in open and robotic-assisted colon surgery and all approaches to rectal surgery. Conclusion: This review provides an overview of current training methods and assessment tools and identifies where more research is needed based on the quality of the studies and the current validity evidence.

Original languageEnglish
JournalColorectal Disease
Issue number4
Pages (from-to)597-608
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2024

Bibliographical note

© 2024 The Authors. Colorectal Disease published by John Wiley & Sons Ltd on behalf of Association of Coloproctology of Great Britain and Ireland.


  • appendicectomy
  • assessment
  • colorectal surgery
  • competency
  • education
  • simulation
  • training
  • Clinical Competence
  • Humans
  • Colectomy/methods
  • Laparoscopy/education
  • Appendectomy/methods
  • Colorectal Surgery/education
  • Robotic Surgical Procedures/education


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