Article Text

11 Realism and fidelity in mental health simulation
  1. G Evans,
  2. K Virk,
  3. J Pathan
  1. Maudsley Simulation, UK


Maudsley Simulation have developed a range of courses focusing on mental health, with the aim of improving services for all who are affected or impacted by mental health issues. To develop our courses, we have concentrated on a wide variety of settings and a whole catalogue of different scenarios, taking place in home environments, care homes, GP surgeries, Accident and Emergency wards and Mental Health Units, and the actors that we use are expected to portray a spectrum of different illnesses. One of our challenges, as Simulation Technicians, has been to recreate these varied environments, as realistically as possible, in the limited space of our current Simulation centre, and with our small budget for prop purchases. Sometimes the choices we make in doing this can have an effect on the learning points that arise in the following debrief of the scenario. We would like to share the various creative enhancements we have made to improve the fidelity of our scenarios, talk about the training our actors undergo, and talk through some of the problems and pitfalls we have encountered, and some of the positive results, evidenced in course debriefing and feedback that we have seen, as a result of those changes.

Learning objectives:

  • To show the methods we use to train our actors.

  • Technical and logistical challenges of recreating a wide variety of environments with limited space.

  • Sourcing props on a limited budget, creative ways to add realism to scenarios.

  • The value and effects of realistic set dressing and moulage on the learning outcomes of mental health scenarios.

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