Capsule endoscopy (CE) has become an important tool for the diagnosis of small bowel disease. Although CE does not require the skill of endoscope insertion, the images should be interpreted by a person with experience in assessing images of the gastrointestinal mucosa. This investigation aimed to document the number of cases needed by trainees to gain the necessary experience for CE competency.
Fifteen cases were distributed to 12 trainees with no previous experience of CE during their gastroenterology training as clinical fellows. Twelve trainees and an expert were asked to read CE images from one patient each week for 15 weeks. The diagnosis was reported using five categories (no abnormalities detected, small bowel erosion or ulcer, small bowel tumor, Crohn disease, and active small bowel bleeding with no identifiable source). We then examined, using the κ coefficient, how the degree of mean agreements between the trainees and the expert changed as the training progressed each week.
The agreement rate of CE diagnosis increased as the frequencies of interpretation increased. Most of the mean κ coefficients were >0.60 and >0.80 after week 9 and 11, respectively.
Experience with approximately 10 cases of CE is appropriate for trainees to attain CE competency.