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Review

Impact of COVID-19 on postgraduate education and mental wellbeing of surgical trainees: a systematic review

Authors:

Oshan Basnayake,

National Hospital of Sri Lanka, LK
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Umesh Jayarajah,

Faculty of Medicine, Colombo, LK
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Kawmadi Gunawardena,

National Hospital of Sri Lanka, LK
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Dharmabandhu N Samarasekera

National Hospital of Sri Lanka, LK
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Abstract

Introduction
Coronavirus disease COVID-19 is a global pandemic that has
produced adverse effects on many facets of the health care
system including surgical specialities. In this systematic
review, we aimed to comprehensively analyze the global
literature on the impact of COVID-19 on surgical education
and the mental wellbeing of surgical trainees.


Methods
We searched PubMed, Scopus, LILACS, Ovid MEDLINE,
Web of Science, Google Scholar and Cochrane CENTRAL
between 1-January 2020 and 20-January 2021 and performed
a systematic review of all observational and experimental
studies on the impact of COVID-19 on postgraduate surgical
trainees of all specialities. Operative and clinical exposure,
surgical education and mental wellbeing were assessed as
outcome measures.


Results
Fifty-nine studies including 11544 surgical trainees were
analyzed. The majority of the trainees were general surgical
trainees [n=4435, 38.4%]. Most studies [n=40, 67.8%] were
conducted at national level in high income countries [n=9480;
82.1%]. Most studies reported a significant reduction in the
operative exposure [range 45.7-100%] including elective,
emergency and other clinical encounters. The mental health
of trainees was affected [11.3-100%] and depression [10.6-
40.8%], anxiety [31.7-69%] and burnout [7.1-68%] were
noticed. Concerns on contraction and transmission of
COVID-19 infection and delays in surgical training and
career progression were also reported.

 

Conclusion
COVID 19 pandemic had caused a considerable impact on
surgical training, teaching, learning activities and mental
well-being of the trainees. Measures should be taken to
mitigate these effects to improve surgical training in the era of
the COVID pandemic.

 

How to Cite: Basnayake O, Jayarajah U, Gunawardena K, Samarasekera DN. Impact of COVID-19 on postgraduate education and mental wellbeing of surgical trainees: a systematic review. Sri Lanka Journal of Surgery. 2021;39(3):43–8.
Published on 30 Nov 2021.
Peer Reviewed

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