Validation of a task-specific scoring system for a microvascular surgery simulation model


  • Presented as a poster at the Triological Society Annual Meeting, Chicago, Illinois, U.S.A., April 18–22, 2011.

  • The authors have no funding, financial relationships, or conflicts of interest to disclose.



Simulation models can help develop procedural skills outside the clinical setting while also providing a means for evaluation of trainees. Objective Structured Assessment of Technical Skills (OSATS) have been developed for several procedures. The purpose of this study was to demonstrate the construct validity of an OSATS for microvascular anastomosis performed on a simulation model using chicken thigh vessels.

Study Design:

Validation study.


An expert panel constructed a task-specific checklist for an OSATS for microvascular anastomosis. Twenty surgical staff and trainees performed a microvascular anastomosis of a chicken ischiatic artery. Training level and microsurgical experience were assessed by questionnaire. The performances were recorded and scored by two experts using the task-specific and global scales of the OSATS.


Analysis of variance revealed a significant effect of training and microvascular experience for both the task-specific score and global rating scale score (P < .005). Interrater reliability was 0.7. Experience level demonstrated a logarithmic relationship with task time.


The microvascular OSATS applied to the chicken thigh simulator model differentiated between levels of microvascular experience. It demonstrated construct validity and reliability for the assessment of procedural competence using a cost-effective and easily accessible model.