The Relationship Between Technical And Nontechnical Skills Within A Simulation-Based Ureteroscopy Training Environment

Oliver Brunckhorst, Shahab Shahid, Abdullatif Aydin, Shahid Khan, Craig McIlhenny, James Brewin, Arun Sahai, Fernando Bello, Roger Kneebone, Muhammad Shamim Khan, Prokar Dasgupta, Kamran Ahmed

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

52 Citations (Scopus)


OBJECTIVE: Little integration of technical and nontechnical skills (e.g., situational awareness, communication, decision making, teamwork, and leadership) teaching exists within surgery. We therefore aimed to (1) evaluate the relationship between these 2 skill sets within a simulation-based environment and (2) assess if certain nontechnical skill components are of particular relevance to technical performance.

DESIGN: A prospective analysis of data acquired from a comparative study of simulation vs nonsimulation training was conducted. Half of the participants underwent training of technical and nontechnical skills within ureteroscopy, with the remaining half undergoing no training. All were assessed within a full immersion environment against both technical (time to completion, Objective Structured Assessment of Technical Skills, and task-specific checklist scores) and nontechnical parameters (Nontechnical Skills for Surgeons [NOTSS] rating scale). The data of whole and individual cohorts were analyzed using Pearson correlation coefficient.

SETTING: The trial took place within the Simulation and Interactive Learning Centre at Guy's Hospital, London, UK.

PARTICIPANTS: In total, 32 novice participants with no prior practical ureteroscopy experience were included within the data analysis.

RESULTS: A correlation was found within all outcome measures analyzed. For the whole cohort, a strong negative correlation was found between time to completion and NOTSS scores (r = -0.75, p < 0.001), with strong positive correlations identified when NOTSS scores were compared with Objective Structured Assessment of Technical Skills (r = 0.89, p < 0.001) and task-specific checklist scores (r = 0.91, p < 0.001). Similar results were observed when each cohort was analyzed separately. Finally, all individual nontechnical skill components demonstrated a strong correlation with all technical skill parameters, regardless of training.

CONCLUSIONS: A strong correlation between technical and nontechnical performance exists, which was demonstrated to be irrespective of training received. This may suggest an inherent link between skill sets. Furthermore, all nontechnical skill sets are important in technical performance. This supports the notion that both of these skills should be trained and assessed together within 1 curriculum.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1039-1044
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Surgical Education
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 1 Sept 2015


Dive into the research topics of 'The Relationship Between Technical And Nontechnical Skills Within A Simulation-Based Ureteroscopy Training Environment'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this