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Additional simulation training: does it affect students’ knowledge acquisition and retention?
  1. Dario Cecilio-Fernandes1,
  2. Carolina Felipe Soares Brandão2,
  3. Davi Lopes Catanio de Oliveira3,
  4. Glória Celeste V Rosário Fernandes4,
  5. René A Tio5
  1. 1 Center for Education Development and Research in Health Professions (CEDAR), research group LEARN, University of Groningen and University Medical Center Groningen, Groningen, Groningen, The Netherlands
  2. 2 Emergency Department, Universidade Cidade de São Paulo (UNICID), São Paulo, Brazil
  3. 3 Vidas Hospital and Franco da Rocha State Hospital, São Paulo, Brazil
  4. 4 Universidade Cidade de São Paulo (UNICID), São Paulo, São Paulo, Brazil
  5. 5 Department of Cardiology, Catharina Hospital, and Department of Educational Development and Research, and Faculty of Health, Medicine and Life Sciences, Maastricht University, Eindhoven, North Brabant, The Netherlands
  1. Correspondence to Dario Cecilio-Fernandes, Center for Education Development and Research in Health Professions, Groningen 9713 AV, The Netherlands; d.cecilio.fernandes{at}


Introduction Teaching medical skills during clinical rotation is a complex challenge, which often does not allow students to practise their skills. Nowadays, the use of simulation training has increased to teach skills to medical students. However, transferring the learnt skills from one setting to the other is challenging. In this study, we investigated whether adding a simulation training before the clinical rotation would improve students’ acquisition and retention of knowledge.

Methods Two subsequent cohorts were compared. Group A followed the traditional curriculum without additional simulation training. Group B attended an additional simulation training, in which history taking, physical examination and procedures for the primary survey in emergency situations were taught. Both groups answered the same knowledge test before entering their clinical rotation and after 6 months. To analyse students’ scores over time, we conducted a repeated measure analysis of variance. To investigate the difference between knowledge, we conducted a t-test.

Results Group B scored significantly higher in both tests and all subscores, except in the Trauma topic in the first measurement point. Students in group A showed decay in knowledge whereas group B showed an increase in knowledge.

Conclusions Adding a simulation training, before students entered their clinical rotation, improves students’ knowledge acquisition and retention compared with those who did not receive the additional simulation training.

  • medical education
  • high-fidelity simulation
  • undergraduate
  • knowledge retention
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  • Contributors CFSB, DLCdO and GCVRFF conceived the original idea of the study. All authors contributed substantially to the conception and design of the study. DLCdO gathered the data. DC-F and CFSB analysed the data and wrote the first draft of the manuscript under the supervision of RAT. All authors contributed to the interpretation of the data and revised it critically in terms of significant intellectual content. All authors approved the final manuscript for submission.

  • Funding The authors have not declared a specific grant for this research from any funding agency in the public, commercial or not-for-profit sectors.

  • Competing interests None declared.

  • Ethics approval This study was approved by the ethical committee of the UNICID.

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

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