Skip to Main content Skip to Navigation
Journal articles

Nontechnical Skills in Neurosurgery A Systematic Review of the Literature

Abstract : Background - Undesirable events in the neurosurgery operating theater have less often been the result of a technical error than of a dysfunction linked to nontechnical skills (NTSs). The essential aim of our study was to perform a systematic review of the reported data on NTS in neurosurgery. Our secondary objective was to identify the NTSs more specific to neurosurgery to define the training needs of neurosurgery trainees. Methods - The MEDLINE and Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews were searched according to the PRISMA (preferred reporting items for systematic reviews and meta-analysis) guidelines. The search initially identified 2132 reports, of which 21 were eligible for systematic study. Data were extracted from the report regarding study design, sample size, NTSs assessed, and assessment tools, and the key results were collected. Results - Interpersonal skills (communication, teamwork), cognitive skills (decision making, situational awareness), and personal resource factors (coping with stress or fatigue) were specifically identified. No study had used assessment tools such as NOTECHS (nontechnical skills), NOTSS (nontechnical skills for surgeons), or OTAS (observational teamwork assessment for surgery). They were performed in a real environment in 11 cases, in a simulated environment in 9, and during theoretical teaching in 1 case. Conclusions - Very few studies have been performed concerning neurosurgical NTSs, despite the increasing the number of studies during the past few years on NTSs in other domains of surgery. Society has been concentrating more and more on the quality and safety of medical care. The development and application of NTS assessment tools is, therefore, essential to provide assistance in the training of future neurosurgeons.
Document type :
Journal articles
Complete list of metadata

Cited literature [84 references]  Display  Hide  Download
Contributor : Laurent Jonchère <>
Submitted on : Monday, December 16, 2019 - 10:33:57 AM
Last modification on : Thursday, January 14, 2021 - 11:16:48 AM
Long-term archiving on: : Tuesday, March 17, 2020 - 3:36:54 PM


Hénaux et al-2019-Non-technic...
Files produced by the author(s)




Pierre-Louis Henaux, Pierre Jannin, Laurent Riffaud. Nontechnical Skills in Neurosurgery A Systematic Review of the Literature. World Neurosurgery, Elsevier, 2019, 130, pp.e726-e736. ⟨10.1016/j.wneu.2019.06.204⟩. ⟨hal-02280254⟩



Record views


Files downloads