Endoscopy workshops are thought to be associated with larger numbers of complications than routine clinical treatment.
Dr Schmit and colleagues from Belgium studied patients who underwent endoscopic retrograde cholangiopancreatography in a unit over a 12-year period.
The research team compared the patients undergoing endoscopic retrograde cholangiopancreatography during live demonstrations with matched patients.
The control for each patient was the next patient admitted to the same endoscopic retrograde cholangiopancreatography unit with similar indications.
The researchers assessed possible delays before treatment, endoscopic retrograde cholangiopancreatography indications, and the use of general anesthesia.
| Hospitalization and complication rates were similar in the workshop and control patients|
In addition, the team assessed standard endoscopic and special treatments, and success and complication rates for endoscopic retrograde cholangiopancreatography.
Prolonged hospitalization periods, and financial benefits for patients were also evaluated.
The research team compared a total of 168 patients undergoing treatment and 168 control patients.
The team reported that endoscopic retrograde cholangiopancreatography was delayed in 18 patients to allow treatment during the workshops at the unit.
General anesthesia was used in 88% of the workshop patients, in comparison with 44 % of the control patients.
The team found that the duration of the endoscopies and radiation exposure did not differ.
The endoscopic treatments carried out did not differ significantly, with the exception of cholangiopancreatoscopy.
The researchers observed that the success and complication rates were similar in the workshop and control patients, as was the duration of hospitalization.
Among the patients treated during workshops, the team reported that 45 % benefited financially, as they were not charged for stents or other devices.
Dr Schmit's team concluded, “These results suggest that, in this setting, endoscopic retrograde cholangiopancreatography performed during live demonstrations is safe and raises no major ethical problems.”