SAGES Research Agenda in Gastrointestinal and Endoscopic Surgery: results of a Delphi study

Dimitrios Stefanidis, MD, PhD, David Urbach, MD, Paul Montero, MD, Alia Qureshi, MD, Sharon Bachman, MD, Atul Madan, MD, Kevin Reavis, MD, Rebecca Petersen, MD, Aurora Pryor, MD

multiple institutions, SAGES Research Committee

Background: Research in gastrointestinal and endoscopic surgery has seen an unprecedented growth since the introduction of laparoscopic techniques in surgery but most research efforts remain uncoordinated and unfocused. To guide research efforts in the field, the research committee of SAGES had developed and published a research agenda in 2007 that is now outdated. The objective of this study was to update the research agenda for gastrointestinal and endoscopic surgery using a systematic methodology.

Methods: The modified Delphi methodology was used to create the research agenda. Using an iterative, anonymous web-based survey, the membership of SAGES was surveyed in two rounds. In round 1, members were asked to formulate and submit up to 5 important and answerable research questions in gastrointestinal and endoscopic surgery. An expert review panel categorized and collapsed the submitted questions and redistributed them to the membership to be ranked using a priority scale from 1 (lowest) to 5 (highest). Average and standard deviations of the ratings submitted during round 2 were calculated and the top 20 research questions were determined.

Results: 283 relevant research questions were submitted during round 1 of the survey. The review panel reduced them to 89 unique questions belonging to 9 categories (bariatric, foregut, GI/biliary, hernia, education, NOTES, endoscopy, technique, and other). 383 round 2 ratings were submitted which ranged from 2.56 – 4.01 on the 5-point Likert scale. The top five questions included “What are the optimal quality and outcome measures for new MIS techniques?”, “How do we best train, assess, and maintain proficiency of surgeons and surgical trainees in flexible endoscopy, laparoscopy and open surgery?”, “What patient and technical factors predict failure of laparoscopic fundoplication for GERD and paraesophageal hernia repair?”, “What are the indications for and outcomes of metabolic surgery?”, “What patient factors, hernia factors, and technical factors are associated with recurrence and other complications after ventral hernia repair?”. A significant shift in the focus of the generated research questions was noted compared to the last SAGES research agenda developed in 2007.

Conclusions: A research agenda for gastrointestinal and endoscopic surgery was developed using a systematic methodology. This research agenda can be used by researchers and funding organizations to focus research in areas most likely to advance the field and by journals to appraise the relevance of scientific contributions.

Session: Poster Presentation

Program Number: P563

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