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Brick in the wall? Linking quality of debriefing to participant learning in team training of interprofessional students
  1. John T Paige1,
  2. Deborah D Garbee2,
  3. Qingzhao Yu3,
  4. John Zahmjahn4,
  5. Raquel Baroni de Carvalho5,
  6. Lin Zhu6,
  7. Vadym Rusnak7,
  8. Vladimir J Kiselov8
  1. 1 School of Medicine, Department of Surgery, LSU Health New Orleans Health Sciences Center, New Orleans, Louisiana, USA
  2. 2 School of Nursing, LSU Health New Orleans Health Sciences Center, New Orleans, Louisiana, USA
  3. 3 School of Public Health, LSU Health New Orleans Health Sciences Center, New Orleans, Louisiana, USA
  4. 4 School of Allied Health Professions, LSU Health New Orleans Health Sciences Center, New Orleans, Louisiana, USA
  5. 5 School of Dentistry, Federal University of Espirito Santo, Vitoria, ES, Brazil
  6. 6 Bristol-Myers Squibb Co, New York, New York, USA
  7. 7 School of Medicine, Department of Medicine, Tulane University Health Sciences Center, New Orleans, Louisiana, USA
  8. 8 Bellingham, Washington, USA
  1. Correspondence to Dr John T Paige, Surgery, LSU Health Sciences Center New Orleans, New Orleans, LA 70112, USA; JPaige{at}


Background The evidence for the conventional wisdom that debriefing quality determines the effectiveness of learning in simulation-based training is lacking. We investigated whether the quality of debriefing in using simulation-based training in team training correlated with the degree of learning of participants.

Methods Forty-two teams of medical and undergraduate nursing students participated in simulation-based training sessions using a two-scenario format with after-action debriefing. Observers rated team performance with an 11-item Teamwork Assessment Scales (TAS) instrument (three subscales, team-based behaviours (5-items), shared mental model (3-items), adaptive communication and response (3-items)). Two independent, blinded raters evaluated video-recorded facilitator team prebriefs and debriefs using the Objective Structured Assessment of Debriefing (OSAD) 8-item tool. Descriptive statistics were calculated, t-test comparisons made and multiple linear regression and univariate analysis used to compare OSAD item scores and changes in TAS scores.

Results Statistically significant improvements in all three TAS subscales occurred from scenario 1 to 2. Seven faculty teams taught learners with all scores ≥3.0 (except two) for prebriefs and all scores ≥ 3.5 (except one) for debriefs (OSAD rating 1=done poorly to 5=done well). Linear regression analysis revealed a single statistically significant correlation between debrief engagement and adaptive communication and response score without significance on univariate analysis.

Conclusions Quality of debriefing does not seem to increase the degree of learning in interprofessional education using simulation-based training of prelicensure student teams. Such a finding may be due to the relatively high quality of the prebrief and debrief of the faculty teams involved in the training.

  • debriefing
  • health professions education
  • high fidelity simulation
  • interprofessional Education
  • simulation-based medical education

Data availability statement

Data available on request from corresponding author.

Statistics from


  • Presented at Aspects of this work were published as an online abstract on the Association for Surgical Education’s (ASE’s) website after being accepted as a poster presentation for the 2020 Annual Meeting in Seattle, WA that was cancelled due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

  • Contributors Study concept and design: JTP, DDG, JZ and RBdC. Acquisition of data: JP, DDG, VR, VJK, JZ and RBdC. Analysis and interpretation of data: JTP, DDG, JZ, RBdC, QY and LZ. Drafting of the manuscript: JTP Critical revision of the manuscript for important intellectual content: all authors. Statistical analysis: QY and LZ. Obtained funding: JTP and DDG. Administrative, technical and material support: VR, VJK, JTP, DDG, JZ and RBdC.

  • Funding This work was in part supported through a 2011–2012 Educational Enhancement Grant from the LSU Health New Orleans Teaching Academy.

  • Competing interests JP receives royalties from Oxford University Press and Springer Nature for three books relating to simulation or surgical education. He also is a consultant to Boston Scientific as a faculty instructor. Finally, he receives grant support from the Southern Group on Educational Affairs (SGEA) and the International Association of Medical Science Educators (IAMSE) as PI for teamwork research as well as from Acell as a site investigator for wound healing research. DDG and QY are coinvestigators on the SGEA and IAMSE grants. The remaining authors do not have any disclosures.

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