Varied Trainee Competence in Cold Snare Polypectomy: Results of the COMPLETE Randomized Controlled Trial

Tonya Kaltenbach, Swati G. Patel, Tiffany Nguyen-Vu, Carmel Malvar, Rajesh N. Keswani, Matt Hall, Eva Aagaard, Ravishankar Asokkumar, Yung Ka Chin, Hazem Hammad, Amit Rastogi, Amandeep Shergill, Violette Simon, Alan Soetikno, Roy Soetikno, Sachin Wani

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Scopus citations


INTRODUCTION:Cold snare polypectomy (CSP) is strongly recommended as the optimal technique for the complete removal of small polyps. Though significant variability in polypectomy technique and quality has been established, the learning curve and impact of targeted training on CSP are unknown. Video feedback has shown promise as an effective pedagogy to improve performance among surgical trainees. We aimed to compare CSP performance between trainees who received video-based feedback and those who received conventional apprentice-based concurrent feedback. We hypothesized that video-based feedback would accelerate competence.METHODS:We conducted a single-blinded, randomized controlled trial on competence for CSP of polyps <1 cm, comparing video-based feedback with conventional feedback. We randomly assigned deidentified consecutively recorded CSP videos to blinded raters to assess using the CSP Assessment Tool. We shared cumulative sum learning curves every 25 CSP with each trainee. The video feedback trainees also received biweekly individualized terminal feedback. Control trainees received conventional feedback during colonoscopy. The primary outcome was CSP competence. We also assessed competence across domains and change over polypectomy volume.RESULTS:We enrolled and randomized 22 trainees, 12 to video-based feedback and 10 to conventional feedback, and evaluated 2,339 CSP. The learning curve was long; 2 trainees (16.7%) in the video feedback achieved competence, after a mean of 135 polyps, and no one in the control (P = 0.481) achieved competence. Overall and in all steps of CSP, a higher percentage of the video feedback group met competence, increasing 3% every 20 CSP (P = 0.0004).DISCUSSION:Video feedback aided trainees to competence in CSP. However, the learning curve was long. Our findings strongly suggest that current training methods are not sufficient to support trainees to competency by the completion of their fellowship programs. The impact of new training methods, such as simulation-based mastery learning, should be assessed to determine whether such methods can result in achievement of competence at a faster rate; NCT03115008.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1880-1887
Number of pages8
JournalAmerican Journal of Gastroenterology
Issue number10
StatePublished - Oct 1 2023


  • colonoscopy
  • competency
  • feedback
  • polypectomy
  • training


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