A scoping review will be undertaken to summarize the benefits and limitations of video-based interviews, as well as the barriers to transitioning from face-to-face interviews. A scoping review, rather than a systematic review, has been chosen as we expect to find many different study designs exploring the topic of interest, and our research question will be kept broad to capture the range of research on video-based interviews. The methodology for conducting scoping reviews that has been outlined and elaborated on previously will be used12, 13. The goals of this scoping review will be to examine the extent, range and nature of research activity, to summarize and disseminate research findings, and to identify research gaps in the current literature12.
Stage 1: identifying the research question
The purpose of this study will be to review the literature on video-based interviews across the healthcare field to understand the benefits and limitations of video-based interviews, and the barriers associated with transitioning from face-to-face interviews. We will include the perspectives of applicants and interviewees where reported. Outcomes of interest will include environmental cost, financial cost, as well as the opportunity cost of interviewing. It has been recommended that a broad research question linked to a clearly articulated scope of inquiry be used13. Thus, our research question, linked to the aforementioned purpose, target population, and outcomes of interest, is as follows:
What are the benefits and limitations of video-based interviews for both applicants and programs across healthcare fields, and what are the perceived barriers associated with transitioning away from face-to-face interviews?
Stage 2: identifying relevant studies
A search strategy has been developed by the authors in consultation with an academic health sciences librarian. A combination of Medical Subject Headings (MeSH) and free text were used. The search strategy was developed in light of our research question to keep the search broad, yet focused on the purpose of our scoping review. The full search strategy can be found in Additional File 1. This will be used as is, or with slight modifications, with the following databases: Medline, Embase, PsycInfo, and Cochrane Central.
The results of our search strategy will be checked with relevant references to ensure that we have captured all relevant studies. The grey literature will be searched using Google and OpenGrey to identify relevant conference abstracts or presentations. Authors of any potentially relevant studies will be contacted should more information be required. Citation searches will be performed to ensure that all relevant studies are captured. The reference list of all studies selected for inclusion in this scoping review will also be reviewed.
Stage 3: study selection
Inclusion and exclusion criteria have been developed to select the relevant studies from our search, based on recommendations that strict inclusion criteria be utilized during the study selection phase12. Our inclusion criteria will be reviewed following the screening process to ensure that selected studies are focused on our research question. The inclusion criteria, listed below, outline the type of study design, participant population, type of intervention and outcomes of interest.
- Involve applicants interviewing via video-based and/or face-to-face interviews AND
- Involve applicants applying to medical school, residency, fellowship programs, dentistry, pharmacy, nursing, or other healthcare related fields AND
- Any study design that involves the implementation of video-based interviews AND
- Any method of data analysis, including quantitative and qualitative studies AND
- Assess any outcome of interest including financial costs, environmental impact, or time invested.
- Editorials or expert opinions that do not describe a particular video-based interview that was implemented OR
- Studies that are not published in English or French.
Our search strategy was run on March 31, 2020, after which it has been agreed that we would not include any more studies in the analysis. Mendeley and Microsoft Excel will be used for the study selection process (Mendeley Desktop, Version 1.19.4; Microsoft Excel, Version 16.35). Two reviewers will apply inclusion and exclusion criteria to all the citations based on title and abstract. Reviewers will meet at the beginning, midpoint, and final stages of the title and abstract review process to discuss any challenges or uncertainties related to study selection and to go back and refine the search strategy if needed. Any discrepancies amongst the two reviewers following title/abstract review will be discussed with a third independent reviewer. The Cohen’s Kappa statistic will be determined following the independent title and abstract review to ensure inter-rater reliability before proceeding. A Cohen’s Kappa statistic of K > 0.8 (strong level of agreement) will be considered adequate to proceed14.
Next, the two reviewers will independently review the full text of the articles that met the inclusion criteria based on their title/abstract. The full text will also be reviewed if the relevance of a study is unclear from merely the title/abstract. Reasons for excluding studies after full text review will be documented. Where disagreements occur, the third reviewer will be consulted to make the final decision regarding inclusion. The study selection process will be summarized using a PRISMA flow diagram15.
Stage 4: charting the data
DistillerSR (Evidence Partners, Ottawa, Canada) will be used for the data extraction process. A standardized form will be used for data extraction. The form will first be tested by both reviewers on ten of the included studies to determine whether the data extraction approach is consistent with the research question and purpose. The data extraction form will be modified as needed, as we expect to find studies of differing methodologies. Data extraction will then be performed by one reviewer and verified by the second reviewer. Data that will be charted will include the authors, year of publication, study location, study population, sample size, intervention type, comparator (if any), study aims, methodology, outcome measures, and important results.
Stage 5: collating, summarizing, and reporting results
Given that we expect varying methodologies and study populations across the different studies that will be included in this scoping review, the analysis of the results will depend on the type of data that is gathered. We suspect that the data analysis will include both a quantitative component to summarize the frequency/demographics of studies and study populations, as well as a qualitative component to outline common themes regarding perceived benefits and limitations of video-based interviews. As we are performing a scoping review expecting heterogeneity in the available literature, a quality assessment of the included studies will not be pursued. While this limits the interpretations that we will be able to draw from our results, this is in line with the purpose of our review which is to examine the extent, range and nature of the current literature of this topic to guide further research13.
Stage 6: consultation
A consultation stage will be included to share our preliminary findings with stakeholders, validate our results, and inform future research12, 13. Specifically, the preliminary findings from stage five will be discussed with stakeholders (i.e. surgeons involved in the interview process) to gain additional sources of information and apply their perspectives to our results. This stage will also serve as an initial knowledge transfer mechanism.