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Validity evidence of non-technical skills assessment instruments in simulated anaesthesia crisis management

Department of Anaesthesiology, Faculty of Medicine Siriraj Hospital, Mahidol University, Bangkok, Thailand


We sought to evaluate the validity of two non-technical skills evaluation instruments, the Anaesthetists’ Non-Technical Skills (ANTS) behavioural marker system and the Ottawa Global Rating Scale (GRS), to apply them to anaesthesia training. The content validity, response process, internal structure, relations with other variables and consequences were described for validity evidence. Simulated crisis management sessions were initiated during which two trained raters evaluated the performance of postgraduate first-, second- and third-year (PGY-1, PGY-2 and PGY-3) anaesthesia residents. The study included 70 participants, composed of 24 PGY-1, 24 PGY-2 and 22 PGY-3 residents. Both instruments differentiated the non-technical skills of PGY-1 from PGY-3 residents (P <0.05). Inter-rater agreement was measured using the intraclass correlation coefficient (ICC). For the ANTS instrument, the intraclass correlation coefficients for task management, team-working, situation awareness and decision-making were 0.79, 0.34, 0.81 and 0.70, respectively. For the Ottawa GRS, the intraclass correlation coefficients for overall performance, leadership, problem-solving, situation awareness, resource utilisation and communication skills were 0.86, 0.83, 0.84, 0.87, 0.80 and 0.86, respectively. The Cronbach’s alpha for internal consistency of the ANTS instrument was 0.93, and was 0.96 for the Ottawa GRS. There was a high correlation between the ANTS and Ottawa GRS. The raters reported the ease of use of the Ottawa GRS compared to the ANTS. We found sufficient evidence of validity in the ANTS instrument and the Ottawa GRS for the evaluation of non-technical skills in a simulated anaesthesia setting, but the Ottawa GRS was more practical and had higher reliability.

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