Featured article| Volume 224, ISSUE 6, P1482-1487, December 2022

Gender-differences of proceduralists in perception of hand-held surgical instrument fit – A cross-sectional survey


      • Almost 70% of proceduralists report instruments do fit their hands.
      • Females and smaller handed individuals struggle more with instruments.
      • A sub-set of females perceive hand size affects ability to learn a procedure.
      • This perception has implications for instrument usability and education.



      Determining perception of hand size as it relates to instrument use and ability to perform a procedure in a diverse population of proceduralists across surgical and medical specialties.


      Cross-sectional survey was distributed via electronic format to a convenience sample of surgeons/physicians. Secondary analysis included identified instrument use and choice of/perception of ability to learn and perform procedures.


      488 respondents, 84.4% (female), 75.8% (glove size ≤6.5), and 82.2% (surgical specialties). 67.8% reported trouble using surgical instruments, primarily endoscopes, laparoscopic instruments, and needle drivers. Latent class analysis identified two groups of female respondents with similar hand sizes but differ in the perception of their hand's abilities.

      Conclusions and relevance

      Instruments beyond laparoscopic instruments do not fit all hands. Even among female with physicians with similar hand size, there is a sub-set who struggle using surgical tools. Beyond gender and hand size, the operator's perception of their hand and their ability is critical in determining the viability of instrument mastery.


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