Novel system for distant assessment of cataract surgical quality in rural China

Lanhua Wang, Danping Xu, Bin Liu, Decai Wang, Mingguang He, Nathan Congdon, Wenyong Huang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)


BACKGROUND: This study aims to assess the quality of various steps of manual small incision cataract surgery and predictors of quality, using video recordings.
DESIGN: This paper applies a retrospective study.
PARTICIPANTS: Fifty-two trainees participated in a hands-on small incision cataract surgery training programme at rural Chinese hospitals.
METHODS: Trainees provided one video each recorded by a tripod-mounted digital recorder after completing a one-week theoretical course and hands-on training monitored by expert trainers. Videos were graded by two different experts, using a 4-point scale developed by the International Council of Ophthalmology for each of 12 surgical steps and six global factors. Grades ranged from 2 (worst) to 5 (best), with a score of 0 if the step was performed by trainers.
MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES: Mean score for the performance of each cataract surgical step rated by trainers.
RESULTS: Videos and data were available for 49/52 trainees (94.2%, median age 38 years, 16.3% women and 77.5% completing > 50 training cases). The majority (53.1%, 26/49) had performed ≤ 50 cataract surgeries prior to training. Kappa was 0.57∼0.98 for the steps (mean 0.85). Poorest-rated steps were draping the surgical field (mean ± standard deviation = 3.27 ± 0.78), hydro-dissection (3.88 ± 1.22) and wound closure (3.92 ± 1.03), and top-rated steps were insertion of viscoelastic (4.96 ± 0.20) and anterior chamber entry (4.69 ± 0.74). In linear regression models, higher total score was associated with younger age (P = 0.015) and having performed >50 independent manual small incision cases (P = 0.039).
CONCLUSIONS: More training should be given to preoperative draping, which is poorly performed and crucial in preventing infection. Surgical experience improves ratings.© 2015 Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Ophthalmologists.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)621-628
JournalClinical and Experimental Ophthalmology
Issue number7
Early online date13 May 2015
Publication statusPublished - Sep 2015


  • China; cataract surgery; outcome; rural; video

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