Decision making in urological surgery

Hamid Abboudi, Kamran Ahmed*, Pasha Normahani, May Abboudi, Roger Kirby, Ben Challacombe, Mohammed Shamim Khan, Prokar Dasgupta

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)


CONTEXT: Non-technical skills are important behavioural aspects that a urologist must be fully competent at to minimise harm to patients. The majority of surgical errors are now known to be due to errors in judgment and decision making as opposed to the technical aspects of the craft.

EVIDENCE ACQUISITION: The authors reviewed the published literature regarding decision-making theory and in practice related to urology as well as the current tools available to assess decision-making skills. Limitations include limited number of studies, and the available studies are of low quality.

EVIDENCE SYNTHESIS: Decision making is the psychological process of choosing between alternative courses of action. In the surgical environment, this can often be a complex balance of benefit and risk within a variable time frame and dynamic setting. In recent years, the emphasis of new surgical curriculums has shifted towards non-technical surgical skills; however, the assessment tools in place are far from objective, reliable and valid. Surgical simulators and video-assisted questionnaires are useful methods for appraisal of trainees.

CONCLUSION: Well-designed, robust and validated tools need to be implemented in training and assessment of decision-making skills in urology. Patient safety can only be ensured when safe and effective decisions are made.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)701-710
Number of pages10
JournalInternational Urology and Nephrology
Issue number3
Early online date26 Feb 2012
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2012


  • Clinical Competence
  • Decision Making
  • Humans
  • Specialties, Surgical
  • Urology


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