Surveys in Surgical Education: A Systematic Review and Reporting Guideline

Louise B. D. Banning, Vincent M. Meyer, Joost Keupers, Johan F. M. Lange, Robert A. Pol, Stan Benjamens*

*Bijbehorende auteur voor dit werk

Onderzoeksoutputpeer review

8 Citaten (Scopus)
71 Downloads (Pure)


Objectives: Survey studies are a commonly used method for data collection in surgical education research. Nevertheless, studies investigating survey design and response rates in surgical education research are lacking. The aim of this study was to gain an insight into survey response rates among surgical residents and medical students, and provide an initial reporting guideline for future survey studies in this field.

Design: PubMed (MEDLINE) was systematically searched for survey studies in surgical education from January 2007 until February 2020, according to the PRISMA statements checklist. Study selection was conducted by 2 authors, independently. Surveys directed at surgical residents and/or medical students were included if data on response rates was available. Studies reporting solely from nonsurgical fields of medicine, paramedicine, or nursing were excluded. Subgroup analyses were performed, comparing response rates for varying modes of survey, per country, and for the 10 journals with the most identified surveys.

Results: From the 5,693 records screened for a larger surgical survey database, a total of 312 surveys were included; 173 studies focused on surgical residents and 139 on medical students. The mean (SD) response rate was 55.7% (24.7%) for surgical residents and 69.0% (20.8%) for medical students. The number of published surveys increased yearly, mostly driven by an increase in surgical resident surveys. Although most surveys were Web-based (n = 166, 53.2%), this survey mode resulted in the lowest response rates (mean 52.6%). The highest response rates, with a mean of 79.8% (13.1%), were seen in in-person surveys (n = 89, 28.5%). Wide variations in response rates were seen between different countries and journals.

Conclusions: Web-based surveys are gaining popularity for medical research in general and for surgical education specifically; however, this mode results in lower response rates than those of in-person surveys. The response rate of in-person surveys is especially high when focusing on medical students. To improve reporting of survey studies, we present the first step towards a reporting guideline.

Originele taal-2English
Pagina's (van-tot)61-67
Aantal pagina's7
TijdschriftEuropean surgical research
Nummer van het tijdschrift2
StatusPublished - aug.-2021

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