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Novel Performance Rating Instruments for Gynecological Procedures in Primary Care: A Pilot Study.

Family Medicine 2023 September 12
BACKGROUND AND OBJECTIVES:  Improving training and confirming the acquisition of gynecological procedure skills for family physicians (FPs) is crucial for safe health care delivery. The objectives of this study were to (a) develop performance rating instruments for four gynecological procedures, and (b) pilot them to provide preliminary validity evidence using modern validity theory.

METHODS:  Sixteen academic FPs and gynecologists participated in a modified Delphi technique to develop procedure-specific checklists (PSCs) for four procedures: intrauterine device insertion, endometrial biopsy, punch biopsy of the vulva, and routine pessary care. We modified a previously validated global rating scale (GRS) for ambulatory settings. Using prerecorded videos, 19 academic FPs piloted instruments to rate one first-year and one second-year family medicine resident's performance. They were blinded to the level of training. We compared the mean scores for PSCs and GRS for each procedure using paired samples t tests and Cohen's d to estimate effect sizes.

RESULTS:  Consensus on items for the final PSCs was reached after two Delphi rounds. PSC and GRS scores were numerically higher for the second-year resident than the first-year resident for every procedure, with statistically significant differences for six of eight comparisons (P<.05). All comparisons demonstrated large effect sizes (Cohen's d>0.8). Both instruments received high scores for ease of use by raters.

CONCLUSIONS:  We developed novel performance rating instruments for four gynecological procedures and provided preliminary validity evidence for their use for formative feedback in a simulation setting. This pilot study suggests that these instruments may facilitate the training and documentation of family medicine trainees' skills in gynecological procedures.

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