A SHERPA approach to surgical training in parotidectomy

F. Gutai, C.-S. Chai, G. Hogg, R. Mountain, E. Fioratou

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Aim: Systematic Human Error Reduction and Prediction Approach (SHERPA) is a Human Factors error analysis method. In this pilot study, we investigated its use as a tool to visualise surgical procedures, identify perioperative errors and assess differing trainer/trainee perceptions of task difficulty.

Method: The identification of the facial nerve during parotidectomy was considered by the consultant in our team as a common but difficult task to train for. A Hierarchical Task Analysis was initially performed based on the literature followed by revisions with the consultant to ensure clinical relevance. A focus group involving consultants and trainees was then held to compare trainer/trainee views.

Results: Literature review of the task yielded a total of 55 steps. Following revision, this was modified to 37 steps, of which 2 steps were considered difficult for trainees. During the focus group, trainers and trainees identified 4 steps and 8 steps difficult respectively and expressed variations in surgical practice.

Conclusions: SHERPA is a concrete platform in identifying perioperative errors and conceptualising both technical and non-technical skills, which can be assessed and monitored. This opens the path for future applications in its use as a reliable self-assessment tool that allows learning through objective feedback, self-reflection and recognition of competencies
Original languageEnglish
Article number0505
Pages (from-to)S102
Number of pages1
JournalInternational Journal of Surgery
Issue numberSupplement 1
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2018

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery


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