Objective:The aim of the study was to identify and evaluate scholarship in multi-institutional interventional surgical education trials.Summary Background Data:Most research on interventions in surgical education occurs at individual institutions. These studies typically involve a small number of learners in a unique environment, thereby limiting their generalizability. The status of multi-institutional studies in surgical education remains unknown.Methods:We searched the Pubmed, ERIC, PsycINFO, SCOPUS, and CINAHL databases for all English language articles published from January 1, 2000 to December 31, 2015 using the keywords "medical education," "surgical education," "multi-institutional," "multi-center," and related terms. Articles published in an English language peer-reviewed journal that described an educational intervention conducted at more than one institution and involving surgeons were included.Results:Of 3511 identified articles, 53 met criteria for full-text review and inclusion in this review. The median number of institutional sites was 4, with a range of 2 to 54. The 2 most common areas of focus were technical skills (43% of studies) and clinical knowledge (32% of studies). These were also the 2 most commonly measured outcomes (technical skills 32% of studies, clinical knowledge 21% of studies). Thirteen percentage of studies measured only learner attitudes and perceptions rather than learning outcomes.Conclusions:Multi-institutional surgical education studies do not uniformly incorporate characteristics of high quality research, particularly related to study design, measurable outcomes, and assessment tools used. Coordinated support, including grant funding, that addresses the challenging nature of multi-institutional surgical education research may improve the quality of these studies.
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