Video-based coaching for surgical residents: a systematic review and meta-analysis Academic Article uri icon

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  • Background

    Video-based coaching (VBC) is used to supplement current teaching methods in surgical education and may be useful in competency-based frameworks. Whether VBC can effectively improve surgical skill in surgical residents has yet to be fully elucidated. The objective of this study is to compare surgical residents receiving and not receiving VBC in terms of technical surgical skill.


    The following databases were searched from database inception to October 2021: Medline, EMBASE, Cochrane Central Register of Controlled Trials (CENTRAL), and PubMed. Articles were included if they were randomized controlled trials (RCTs) comparing surgical residents receiving and not receiving VBC. The primary outcome, as defined prior to data collection, was change in objective measures of technical surgical skill following implementation of either VBC or control. A pairwise meta-analyses using inverse variance random effects was performed. Standardized mean differences (SMD) were used as the primary outcome measure to account for differences in objective surgical skill evaluation tools.


    From 2734 citations, 11 RCTs with 157 residents receiving VBC and 141 residents receiving standard surgical teaching without VBC were included. There was no significant difference in post-coaching scores on objective surgical skill evaluation tools between groups (SMD 0.53, 95% CI 0.00 to 1.01, p = 0.05, I2 = 74%). The improvement in scores pre- and post-intervention was significantly greater in residents receiving VBC compared to those not receiving VBC (SMD 1.62, 95% CI 0.62 to 2.63, p = 0.002, I2 = 85%). These results were unchanged with leave-one-out sensitivity analysis and subgroup analysis according to operative setting.


    VBC can improve objective surgical skills in surgical residents of various levels. The benefit may be most substantial for trainees with lower baseline levels of objective skill. Further studies are required to determine the impact of VBC on competency-based frameworks.

publication date

  • June 23, 2022