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Brick in the wall? Linking quality of debriefing to participant learning in team training of interprofessional students


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.

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