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Use of head camera-cued recall and debrief to externalise expertise: a systematic review of literature from multiple fields of practice
  1. Vivienne Isabella Blackhall1,2,
  2. Kenneth Grant Walker1,2,
  3. Iya Whiteley3,
  4. Philip Wilson4
    1. 1 Centre for Health Education Research and Innovation, College of Life Sciences and Medicine, Aberdeen University, Aberdeen, UK
    2. 2 NHS Highland Department of Medical Education, Centre for Health Science, Inverness, UK
    3. 3 Centre for Space Medicine, Mullard Space Science Laboratory, University College London, Holmbury St Mary, Surrey, UK
    4. 4 University of Aberdeen Centre for Rural Health, Centre for Health Science, Inverness, UK
    1. Correspondence to Miss. Vivienne Isabella Blackhall, Centre for Health Education Research and Innovation, College of Life Sciences and Medicine, Aberdeen University, Aberdeen AB24 3FX, UK; vblackhall{at}


    Background The study of decision making in complex naturalistic environments poses several challenges. In response to these, video-stimulated cued-recall-debrief was developed. It involves an individual wearing a head-mounted camera which records a task from their point of view. Afterwards, footage captured is reviewed along with a facilitated debrief to help externalise cognitive processes. In theory, motion, audio and visual cues generate a high level of experiential immersion which helps the expert to articulate previously hidden thoughts and actions.

    Objective To examine the current evidence for video-stimulated cued-recall-debrief as a means of explicating expert thoughts and feelings in complex tasks in a range of environments.

    Study selection MEDLINE, EMBASE, Education Resources Information Center, SPORTDiscus, PsycINFO and Google Scholar were searched for articles containing the key terms ‘cued-recall (debrief)’, ‘decision making’, ‘skills’ and ‘video recording’. Studies were included if they examined the following outcomes: (1) feasibility, (2) extent of experiential immersion, (3) ability to generate unique insight into decision-making processes and (4) current applications. 1831 articles were identified initially, and 9 studies were included in the final review.

    Findings Video-stimulated cued-recall-debrief is associated with a high level of experiential immersion and generates between two and four times the number of recollections compared with free recall. It can be used to build models of cognitive activity and to characterise the way in which more and less skilled individuals tend to think and feel.

    Conclusions The technique could be used to explicate expertise within medicine: these insights into performance could be used as a training tool for other practitioners.

    Trial registration number CRD42017057484.

    • recall debrief
    • decision making
    • expert
    • skills
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    • Contributors PW is the guarantor. VIB drafted the manuscript. All authors contributed to the genesis of the selection criteria. VIB and PW developed the search strategy. VIB, PW and KGW screened the papers for inclusion. All authors read, gave feedback and approved the final version of the manuscript.

    • Funding No funding was received for this work.

    • Competing interests IW authored two of the papers under review, under the names I Solodilova and I Solodilova- Whiteley. The remaining authors have no competing interests.

    • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.

    • Collaborators Professor Jennifer Cleland (Centre for Health Education Research and Innovation, College of Life Sciences and Medicine, University of Aberdeen).

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