Benign Anal Disease: Implementation of an Educational Program Across Specialties

Katherine A. Kelley, Caroline Schulman, Kim C. Lu, V. Liana Tsikitis

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


Background: Benign anal diseases, including hemorrhoids, fissures, abscesses, fistulas, and anal condylomata, affect 10%-15% of our population. Most patients seen by nonsurgical providers experience delayed treatment. We examined at our institution whether an educational session on anorectal diseases would benefit trainees from medical and surgical specialties. Materials and Methods: The study took place at Oregon Health & Science University, a primary institutional practice with 130 resident participants. An exploratory study using a 10-point pretest and posttest regarding these diseases was designed and administered to medical subspecialties, including general surgery (GS), emergency medicine, internal medicine, and family medicine, obstetrics/gynecology, and pediatric residents. Intervention was a 50-min presentation highlighting anatomy, history and physical findings, and disease treatment. The posttest was repeated after 6 mo to evaluate retention and overall satisfaction, and differences were evaluated. Results: With the exception of GS, posttest scores improved. Internal medicine improved most significantly. GS residents scored better on the pretest than other specialties; their posttest scores, however, declined. The survey demonstrated residents with prior education scored better on the pretest. PGY-1 and PGY-2 residents improved most on their posttest. On 6-mo retest, 17.6% of residents responded and posttest performance was 72%. Conclusions: Nonsurgical residents have limited knowledge about benign anal diseases but demonstrate improvement after educational intervention. Surgery residents performed well, but demonstrate regression to the mean, common in test taking, but may also require a more advanced lecture. Formal institutional, regional, and national educational interventions are needed to improve the understanding of these diseases.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)249-254
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Surgical Research
StatePublished - Nov 2019


  • Benign anal disease
  • Education intervention
  • Quality care improvement
  • Surgical residency education

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery


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