Spencer, H.L.; Riley, S.A.
April 2003
Gut;Apr2003 Supplement 1, Vol. 52, pA75
Academic Journal
Introduction: Colonoscopy is a fundamental investigation for the gastroenterologist. Recently training guidelines have been issued to promote technical and diagnostic competence. Few studies have addressed the consistency or importance of interpretational skills. Methods: A prospective study was carried out of all colonoscopies from Oct 2001 to Sept 2002, performed on a joint medical and surgical list. Using the "lnfoflex" database, demographic details, completeness of examination and final endoscopic diagnosis were recorded and analysed by endoscopist (4 surgical consultants, 4 medical consultants, 6 specialist registrars, and 2 nurse endoscopists). 5 further endoscopists who had done less than 20 procedures, were excluded from the analysis. Results: 1776 colonoscopies were performed. Of these, 38 were done by the excluded endoscopists. The frequency of reporting common diagnoses was very variable and the differences between endoscopists were highly significant when analysed using Χ² (see table). Conclusions: Within our centre there are major variations in reporting colonoscopy findings. While it is reassuring that there was no major difference in the frequency of tumours, the variation in polyp reporting is particularly worrying as it may have serious implications for patients' health. Further studies are required to assess the determinants of endoscopic reporting and diagnosis.


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